Thunder over Arizona


1h 15m 1956

Film Details

Also Known As
Warrens of Arizona
Release Date
Aug 4, 1956
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m

Synopsis

In the 1800s, in Tombstone, Arizona, Pliny Warren, owner of a mine containing the mother lode, is wrongfully accused of cheating at poker and shot to death by corrupt sheriff Hudson, who then claims that Pliny tried to draw on him. Hudson also shoots at Pliny's son Tab, who witnessed the murder, but Tab outdraws and and kills him. Tab rides away, pursued by deputies Rand, Slats Callahan and Chalky, and, although shot in the leg, escapes to his family's home at the mine. There, Tab's sharpshooting brothers Mark and Jud convince the deputies to temporarily give up the chase. Meanwhile, corrupt mayor Ervin Plummer and his lawyer, Hal Styles, ride out to the mine and accuse the family of "harboring" Tab, whom they consider a murderer, but they are ordered away by Tab's sister Fay. The next day, in town, the undertaker gives Fay the effects found on Pliny's body, which include, he claims, a tax bill for $52,000. After the undertaker tells Plummer that he gave Fay the fake tax bill, Plummer discusses with Styles their plan to buy the mine when it is auctioned for non-payment of taxes. Styles points out that they still must physically gain control of it from the Warren family, who are the best shots in the territory and unlikely to give up the mine. Knowing how much the townspeople hate them, Styles doubts they can attract a large enough posse to overtake the Warrens. Undeterred, Plummer says he has hired the infamous gunman Shotgun Kelly to get rid of the Warrens. Meanwhile, at a relay station outside of Tombstone run by Pancho, cowboy Tim Mallory bests Kelly at a game of craps. The next morning, Kelly tries to kill Tim to get back his money, but Tim outshoots and kills him. After taking Kelly's rifle and giving Kelly's horse to Pancho, Tim rides into town, where he stops Plummer's deputies from harassing Fay. When Plummer's men assume that Tim is Kelly, Tim says nothing and meets with Plummer, pretending to be the gunman. Plummer tells Tim that he will be in charge of bringing in Tab, who murdered the sheriff, and clearing out the Warrens so that Plummer can take over the mine. After agreeing to work for Plummer, Tim gets directions to the mine from the liveryman and sneaks out of town. At the mine, when the suspicious Warren brothers refuse to talk to Tim, a fight ensues in which Tim is accidentally grazed in the head with a bullet when a gun goes off. The brothers take the unconscious Tim into the house, and when he recovers, they explain that a silver vein from their mine runs through Plummer's property. According to the Apex Law, the owners of the area on which the vein originates control the vein and so Plummer wants their mine. When Pliny refused to sell, the mayor had him killed by Hudson, a professional gunfighter whom he appointed sheriff. The Warrens explain that Tab shot in self-defense and that the tax bill is phony, but they cannot take legal action, as Plummer controls the town. While Tim prepares to ride back to town, Fay says that she knows he is not Kelly. As proof, she shows him a picture of Kelly from a three-month-old Kansas City newspaper. Tim tells her his real identity, but asks her to keep it secret until he learns more about the corrupt gang. When he returns to town, Pancho is there, drunk and talkative. Although Tim tries to determine if Pancho has told anyone about Kelly's death, he cannot make sense of Pancho's muddled rambling. Plummer calls for Tim and introduces him to his agent, Mel Horgan, who asks him to ride shotgun on a stagecoach containing gold bullion. The trip is a ploy to get Tim out of town where Plummer's thugs, disguised as robbers, can kill him. However, Tim becomes suspicious in time to outsmart them, pushes the driver, Clel, off the coach and, after a shootout with the thugs, returns alone to town with the gold. He reports the attempted robbery to Plummer and suggests that Clel was in league with the robbers, but Tim cannot be certain from the mayor's response whether he was behind it. Because Tab's injury has worsened, Fay sneaks him into town for medical attention. After treating Tab, Dr. Peterson, who is loyal to Plummer, telephones the mayor and Tab is arrested while trying to leave. Plummer then has his men tie up Tim, and in his presence explains how he is arranging to allow Tab to escape at four o'clock, when he will be shot down in the street. He then orders Tim to be abandoned at a shack outside town. From there, Tim unties himself and proceeds to the mine, guessing that Plummer expected him to escape and alert the Warrens, who would then abandon the mine to help Tab. Feeling defeated, the Warrens consider rescuing Tab and then leaving the territory, but Tim suggests another plan. Tim and the Warrens go to town and, at four o'clock, shoot down the gunmen aiming to kill Tab. They then return to the area outside the mine, and as Plummer, Styles and his men enter the mine area to lay claim to it, Tim sets off dynamite that he laid in the mine, killing Plummer and some of his men. Upon surrendering, Styles confesses that there are documents in Plummer's safe that prove the tax bill was falsified. As the smitten Tim and Fay ride off to town to settle the affair, Tim promises the Warren brothers that a "shotgun wedding" will not be necessary.

Film Details

Also Known As
Warrens of Arizona
Release Date
Aug 4, 1956
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Warrens of Arizona. After the opening credits, a title card reads: "Tombstone, Arizona, laid out in 1879 as a monument to silver, was named by a wry wit, who saw in its deadly lawlessness an open invitation to Boot Hill. It is situated in Cochise County, ancient land of the Apaches."