The Drifter


1h 2m 1944

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 20, 1944
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 16 May 1944
Production Company
Sigmund Neufeld Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Film Length
5,504ft

Synopsis

Drifter Davis, a dead ringer for the law-abiding cowpoke Billy Carson, works as a sharpshooter in a medicine show to cover up his other occupation as a bank robber. While robbing the Clinton National Bank, Davis is captured and jailed by Sheriff Perkins, who mistakes him for Billy. The next day, when the real Billy rides into town, the sheriff thinks that his prisoner has escaped and takes him back to the jail house, where Davis and Billy come face to face. Determined to exonerate his name and bring the outlaws to justice, Billy decides to pose as Davis and rides to Centerville, the medicine show's next stop. Meanwhile, Fuzzy Jones, Billy's old friend, sees a poster advertising Davis' appearance in Centerville and, thinking that Davis is Billy, decides to ride to Centerville and meet his old saddlepal. Upon reaching Centerville, Billy, posing as Davis, confers with Dirk Trent, the leader of the gang. The unsuspecting Trent orders Billy to steal a shipment of gold that the Centerville stage is delivering to the bank. Soon after, Fuzzy arrives, and when he goes to visit Billy, Billy orders him out of the show's tent. Overhearing their argument, Sally Dawson, the owner of the show, scolds Billy for his rude behavior. When Sally sees Billy practicing his shooting with his right hand, she becomes confused, because Davis is a "lefty". Later, Billy follows Trent's directions and goes to intercept the gold. Puzzled by his friend's attitude, Fuzzy follows him, thwarts the robbery and delivers the gold to the bank. There, Fuzzy meets Simms, the territorial bank examiner who is secretly in league with Trent. When Fuzzy reads a newspaper account of Billy's capture in Clinton, he realizes that something is amiss and rides to Clinton to liberate his friend. Believing that the jailed Davis is Billy, Fuzzy lassos the sheriff and frees the prisoner. When Davis reaches for his gun with his left hand, however, Fuzzy realizes his mistake, overpowers Davis and leaves him tied up in an abandoned shack. Fuzzy then rides to Centerville to tell Billy about the incident, and the two return to the shack together. Before they arrive, however, Davis unties his bonds, and when Billy enters the room, he attacks him. Confused about which man is his friend, Fuzzy knocks out the real Billy, thinking that he is Davis. After instructing Fuzzy to guard the prisoner, Davis then rides back to Centerville and plots with Trent to rob the bank that night. Upon discovering that Sally has overheard their conversation, Trent and Davis tie her up and leave her in the tent. Sally finally frees herself, and rides to the shack and convinces Fuzzy that his prisoner is really Billy. The three hurry back to town to stop the robbery, arriving just as Davis gallops off with the gold. Riding to the gang's hideout, Davis hands the gold over to Trent, who then shoots and kills him. Moments later, Billy and Fuzzy arrive, guns drawn, and arrest Trent and Simms. Later, Sally, now short one sharpshooter, persuades Billy to stay with the show until it closes in four weeks.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 20, 1944
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 16 May 1944
Production Company
Sigmund Neufeld Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 2m
Film Length
5,504ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart places Bob Hill in the cast, his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Modern souces add Wally West, Russell Hopton, Ann Brody and Ynez Seabury to the cast and credit Oliver Drake as co-writer with Patricia Harper. For more information about the "Billy Carson" series, please consult the Series Index and see entry above for Devil Riders.