Sundown Jim


53m 1942

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 27, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Sundown Jim by Ernest Haycox (Boston, 1938).

Technical Specs

Duration
53m
Film Length
4,786ft (6 reels)

Synopsis

Marshal "Sundown" Jim Majors arrives in the town of Reservation to help settle a fiery range war, and on the evening of his arrival, small rancher Clem Black is gunned down by sharpshooter Dale, who is a member of Ben Moffitt's gang. Clem's daughter Tony then bitterly castigates Catherine, daughter of rancher Andrew Barr, for her father's part in the murderous occurance. Jim learns from Tony that Barr obtained Clem's land through legal but unethical means, and when the other small ranchers tried to stand up to Barr, he brought in Moffitt and his hired guns for protection. The next day, determined to clean up the town, Jim decides to face the challenge sent by the gang when they rob the mail coach of its contents and state that they will be at their hideout. Jim travels alone to the hideout, where he succeeds in outwitting the gang and retrieving the mail sacks. Infuriated, Moffitt tells Barr that he is going to get rid of Jim, despite Barr's reluctance to be involved in the murder of a U.S. marshal. Catherine rides ahead to town to warn Jim of the upcoming showdown, and when Moffitt and his men arrive, Jim shoots Dale. A gunfight ensues, involving the gang, Barr's men and the small ranchers, led by Dobe Hyde and Nat Oldroyd. With Tony's help, Jim gets the factions to stop shooting, and makes a speech in which he insinuates that the sneaky Dobe and Moffitt are in league and are double-crossing Barr and Oldroyd. The next morning, Hyde goes to Moffitt's hideout, and there suggests that they team up. Moffitt is reluctant, so Hyde tells him that he will organize the ranchers to attack Barr, and during the fight make sure that Oldroyd and Barr kill each other. The way will then be clear for Dobe and Moffitt to run the town. As Moffitt is agreeing to the plan, they discover that Barr has heard their conversation. Moffitt shoots Barr, then sends Dobe to instigate the raid. Jim, who had followed Dobe, rushes to the Barr ranch to warn Catherine and her brothers, Ring and Dan. After another fight, Jim is able to convince Oldroyd and the Barrs that they have been double-crossed, after which they all ride to town to confront Moffitt, Dobe and their men. Tony and Dobe kill each other during the shootout, and Jim shoots Moffitt as he tries to escape. The townspeople then prevail upon Jim to stay, and hotel clerk Broderick sends for a preacher so that Jim and Catherine can be married.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 27, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Sundown Jim by Ernest Haycox (Boston, 1938).

Technical Specs

Duration
53m
Film Length
4,786ft (6 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The onscreen credits list the film's source as "Based on the Collier's novel by Ernest Haycox." Haycox's novel was serialized in Collier's from September 25, 1937 to November 27, 1937. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the picture was shot on location at Lone Pine, CA. Texas A & M All-American football player John Kimbrough, known as "Jarrin' Jawn," made his second film appearance in Sundown Jim, and according to the Variety review, Twentieth Century-Fox had hoped to make him a Western star with this film and Lone Star Ranger. His option was dropped before either film was released, however, and according to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the studio paid Kimbrough $15,000 to settle his contract. Modern sources include Kermit Maynard and Frank McCarroll in the cast.