Doomed at Sundown
Cast & Crew
Prankster Dave Austin is being initiated into the Ancient Order of Mavericks, a secret society of mischief-makers, when he receives word that his father, the sheriff, has been stabbed. Dave rushes to the scene but finds that his father is already dead, and was only able to tell the deputy that the killer was a left-handed man. The deputy speculates that the killer frequents the notorious Sprague's Border Cantina, and Dave goes there after being deputized. After his arrival, he hears gang leader Jim Hatfield berate his henchman, Butch Brawley, for rustling a herd of cattle from below the border and endangering their illegal border connections. Hatfield orders Butch to return the cattle, and Butch agrees, despite the grumblings of his men. Meanwhile, bartender Lew Sprague cautions his son Dante against becoming involved with Butch's gang. Later, Dave rescues waitress Jean Williams from the unwanted attentions of a patron, and she tells him that she has been at the cantina for over a week while awaiting word from her brother Don. She and Don had stopped there on their way to buy some cattle, for which Don carried $12,000 in traveler's checks. Before they could leave, however, Don disappeared. Hatfield told Jean that Don had murdered a man, and that he helped Don escape, but Jean has not heard from Don since then. Dave promises to help her, and the next day, he hears Butch discussing the gang's attempts to get money from Don. Dave follows Dante to the gang's hideout, where they are trying to force Don to sign over the traveler's checks to them. Dave rescues Don and sends him to get help. Dave then returns to the cantina, where Jean sees him holding his father's badge. Mistakenly assuming that he is trying to capture Don, she alerts Hatfield. Shortly after, Dave informs Jean that Don, now free, is innocent and was being held captive by Hatfield's gang. She warns him that Hatfield is out to get him, and soon Dave allows himself to be captured by Hatfield, who tells him that he will be killed before sundown. After Hatfield tells him the story of how he was held in jail waiting to be hanged, and wishes to put a lawman through the same terrible suspense, Dave suspects that Hatfield killed his father. Dave suggests to Hatfield that he has been double-crossed by Butch's gang, and later, after finding out that Don is gone, Butch thinks he has been double-crossed by Hatfield. While the two factions battle, Dave escapes and rescues Jean from the cantina, then returns to get Hatfield. Hatfield admits he murdered Dave's father, and the men fight. Dave prevents Butch's gang from getting Hatfield, so that he can take him in himself, and as they are trading shots, Don arrives with reinforcements. The gangs are captured and Dave turns in Hatfield. Later, Don watches approvingly as Dave carries Jean away.
Although Roy Claire is listed on the onscreen credits as the film editor, reviews and copyright records credit S. Roy Luby. According to Hollywood Reporter, some scenes in this film were to be shot at Newhall and Chatsworth, CA. Modern sources include the following as additional cast members: Sherry Tansey, Budd Buster, Jack C. Smith, Jack Kirk, Horace Murphy, Charles King, Lew Meehan and Jack Ingram.