Frontier Badmen


1h 13m 1943

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 6, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,935ft

Synopsis

Texas cattlemen Steve Logan and Jim Caldwell bring their herd into the boom town of Abilene, Texas. Steve immediately falls for gambler Claire, even though she attempts to cheat him at cards. Steve then learns that, while cattle sells for twenty-three dollars a head in Kansas City, it sells for only eleven dollars a head in Abilene, as an unknown middle man controls the city's cattle market. When an Eastern cattle buyer complains about the situation, he is immediately killed. In an attempt to flush out the murderous combine leader, Steve agrees to buy trail boss Courtwright's herd at a higher price over Jim's objections. After Courtwright is killed in an ambush, Steve and Jim ride out to his camp and meet his boss, cattlewoman Chris Prentise. Jim immediately falls in love with Chris, and asks the handsome Steve to stay away from her. The next morning, the sheriff orders Steve and Jim to move their new herd off rancher Lindsay's land, so they bring the cattle into town. Steve then auctions off the cattle for eighteen dollars a head, and announces that he has a lead to the identity of the head of the combine. Saloon owner Ballard, who is the combine leader, realizes that Steve and Jim have connected him to Lindsay, so he orders the rancher to leave town. Cowboys Slim, Chinito and Cherokee capture the escaping rancher, who then confesses that Ballard is his boss. Lindsay is killed, however, by Ballard's henchman Chango before the cattlemen can take him to the sheriff. Ballard later admits to being the head of the combine, but points out that there is no proof of any criminal involvement on his part. Steve and Jim then set up a cattlemen's association in Abilene. The quick success of the association soon goes to Steve's head, much to the dismay of Chris, who has fallen in love with him. Steve tells Claire, however, that he sees Chris as Jim's girl, as they "were made for each other." The heartbroken Chris prepares to leave town, but Jim stops her by confessing his love, while agreeing to get Steve for her. Jim then tells Steve that he wants him to return to Texas with Chris and him. Steve refuses, and the two break up their partnership. When Steve learns that Ballard's men plan to ambush Jim, however, he rushes to his old friend's aid. While Steve saves Jim from the ambush, their herd is destroyed by a fire set by Ballard's men. Steve then goes into the cattlemen's association and forces Ballard to pay for the dead cattle. A shootout ensues, and the sheriff arrests Steve as the instigator. Claire warns Chris that Ballard is organizing a lynch party, so Chris rides off to tell Jim. To save Steve, Jim stampedes a second herd through the town. In the ensuing shootouts, both Ballard and Chango are killed by Jim, and Claire is wounded while handing Jim a gun. Afterward, Jim and Chris are united, as are Steve and Claire, and the four decide to return home to Texas.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 6, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,935ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film begins with the following written foreword: "The close of the Civil War found the North facing a beef shortage not unlike the Nation's problem of today. Then in 1869, out of Texas came the answer-a cattle drive unequaled in history... their goal the mushroom town of gambling halls and loading pens...Abilene, Kansas." The Motion Picture Herald Prod Digest and New York Times reviews mistakenly credit William McGann as the film's sole director. McGann was listed as director in Hollywood Reporter news items and early production charts, but was replaced by producer Ford Beebe shortly after principal photography started. According to Hollywood Reporter, some exteriors were shot on-location near Newhall, CA. Modern sources include Earle Hodgins, Bob Reeves and Kermit Maynard in the cast.