Cast & Crew
In 1865, just after the Civil War, Clint Banister returns home to Arroyo, Texas, after having served in the Union Army for four years. As he enters his old hometown, Clint is astonished to see the Confederate flag still flying overhead and is immediately confronted by a thug-like deputy named Rio, who accuses him of being a carpetbagger. After Clint checks into the local hotel, he is visited by his old friends, Doc Jansen and Ben Hollis, who inform him that his younger brother Greg has been appointed sheriff. Clint soon discovers that another old friend, banker Henry Biggs, and most of the rest of the town regard him as a turncoat for joining the Yankees. When Clint visits his former law partner, Philip Harvey, Harvey explains that Greg and his cutthroat deputies have appointed themselves judge, jury and executioner, inaugurating a wave of violence and murder that has permeated the town. Harvey then asks Clint to resume their partnership in hopes of reestablishing law and order, but Clint declines. After leaving Harvey's office, Clint encounters Greg, who was always considered second-best to Clint and hence seethes with resentment toward his older brother. Determined to restore justice to Arroyo, Harvey pledges to defend an innocent man accused of trading with the Indians. Harvey's resolve is met with ridicule by Riff, one of Greg's demonic deputies, who lusts after Harvey's daughter Susan. Greg, meanwhile, confides to his sweetheart, Florrie Stuart, that he is conflicted about how to handle his brother. When Clint decides to leave Arroyo and start a new life, Doc, Bill and Susan implore him to stay until the trial, but he refuses and rides out. While passing the cemetery on the outskirts of town, however, Clint is struck by the alarming increase in the number of tombstones and turns back. At the trial, meanwhile, Greg sentences the trader to hang for selling food to some Indians, and then for good measure, orders the Indians' execution, too. After Harvey's protests fall on deaf ears, the prisoners are ushered onto the street to a waiting wagon and driven off by Greg. Outraged, Harvey pulls his gun to stop the wagon and Rio shoots him down. Susan, incensed, aims her father's pistol at Rio, and when the deputy tries to grab it, the gun fires, killing him. Clint rides into town just in time to witness the shooting. Out on the trail, Greg and his feeble-minded deputy Jesse hear the sound of gunfire and Greg turns back to investigate. The Indians seize the opportunity to overpower Jesse and escape with the wagon. Greg pursues them, and in the ensuing shootout, Jesse is wounded and the wagon overturns, killing its occupants. In town, meanwhile, Clint, knowing that Susan will be charged with Rio's murder, urges her to take refuge at Doc's office. When Jesse and Greg return, they find Rio's body sprawled across the street and Greg instructs Riff to arrest Susan. His sense of justice awakened, Clint declares he will defend Susan and admonishes Biggs and the other members of the town council to convene a meeting and appoint their own judge and jury. After being molested by Riff in her jail cell, Susan escapes and Riff chases her into the street, where Clint orders him to desist. Riff then challenges Clint to draw his gun, and when Clint shoots first and kills Riff, Greg orders him to leave town. Defying his brother, Clint proceeds to the town meeting, but Greg blocks his path and calls for a showdown. After Clint tries to negotiate a truce, Greg is about to reconsider when he spots Jesse preparing to shoot Clint in the back. Instinctively, Greg fires at Jesse, and Clint, believing the bullet is aimed at him, draws and kills his brother. When Clint turns and sees Jesse, he realizes his mistake and drops his gun, and Susan rushes to his side to console him.
I. Stanford Jolley
Elena Da Vinci
Lee Frederic Cox
The film opens with the following written prologue: "1865. The War Between the States is ended...the struggle for peace between countrymen begins." This was the last production of Regal Films, Inc., a company that was incorporated in 1947 by producer Samuel Bischoff.