Vigilante Terror


1h 10m 1953

Film Details

Also Known As
Vigilante Rebellion
Release Date
Nov 15, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Allied Artists Productions, Inc.; Westwood Productions Co.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
6,310ft

Synopsis

In the mining town of Pinetop, California, a vigilante committee, originally formed to fight lawlessness, has now become more feared and hated than the outlaws. One night, a masked gang robs a stagecoach of a gold shipment from the Pinetop mining company, accidentally leaving behind one of their masks. A short time later, miner Tack Hamlin rides into Pinetop for supplies. In Matt Taylor's general store and post office, Tack receives a letter from his brother Jed, who has assumed the name "Jed Brown" and is wanted as a member of the Brewer gang. At the same time, mine manager Gene Smith asks Matt if he recognizes the calico material used for the holdup masks. Matt does not remember selling the material, but his daughter Lucy says that it was bought by a tall stranger two weeks before. Later, Gene meets with saloon owner Brett and other members of the town's secret vigilante committee. When Gene tells them that Matt knows nothing about the calico, Brett still wants to take action against him, saying that he must be involved in the robbery, but Gene wants more evidence. After Gene leaves, Brett orders the others to "find" more evidence. That night, a band of masked vigilantes go to Matt's store, confront him with a mask that they had planted, and accuse him of being part of the robbery. Meanwhile, Tack secretly meets Jed outside town. Jed says that he now regrets joining the gang but they will not let him quit. As they are talking, the vigilantes ride up to a nearby tree and put a noose around Matt's neck. Seeing this, Tack sneaks around from behind and draws his gun. He unties Matt and whispers to him to ride to his cabin, but just after Matt rides off, Tack is shot. The next morning, Tack, who was only grazed in the head, awakens and sees Jed's body hanging from the tree. Sometime later, Tack goes to the general store, which is closed, and gives Lucy a note from her father, assuring her that he is fine. Leaving the store, Tack runs into Strummer, an old friend who tells him that the vigilantes have ruined the town. When the two men go to the saloon for a beer, they witness a poker player accuse the dealer of cheating and shoot him dead. As the card player tries to get away, Tack overpowers him. Brett then calls the man a killer, but the town mayor, J. D. Winch, says that the dealer drew first. When Tack adds that they need law and order in the town, Winch asks him to become the sheriff, over Brett's objections. Tack reluctantly accepts and soon begins to clean up the town, with Strummer as his deputy. Tack's actions continue to antagonize Brett, but Gene is happy with the results and tells Brett that he hopes Tack can find the men who robbed the stage. One day, Brewer and some of his gang members, including a tall cowboy named Sperry, arrive in town. When Brewer, who secretly has been working with Brett, learns that Tack is the sheriff, he mentions that Tack's brother was a member of the gang but has been missing. While they are talking, Brewer suggests planting evidence in Tack's cabin linking him to the robbery. Brewer and two henchmen then go to the cabin, where they are surprised to find Matt, and take him with them. Back in town, Sperry and the others enter the bank and hand the teller a holdup note. As the teller nervously opens the safe, a man walks in, sees what is going on, and is shot by one of the gang. The noise summons Tack and Strummer, who then have a shootout with the gang. Several outlaws escape, but Tack wounds Sperry in the arm and arrests him. Seeing them walk toward the jail, Brett tells one of his men to bring Matt back and meet him at the far side of town. Lucy also sees Sperry and tells Tack that he was the man who bought the calico for the masks. Inside the jail, Tack threatens Sperry by saying he will turn him over to the growing mob if he does not tell him where Brewer and his gang are headed. Sperry tells Tack where they are going just as they hear someone yell "They've got Matt Taylor." Outside, Brett holds Matt at gunpoint and tells the mob that they found him and a bag from the holdup in Tack's cabin. Tack walks over to see what is happening just as Gene identifies the bag and Brett reveals that Tack's brother was in the gang. Then Strummer rushes over, saying that the Brewer gang has freed everyone from the jail. Now enraged, the mob marches Matt, Tack and Strummer to a large tree and puts nooses around their necks. Winch tries to stop the lynching, and Gene tells Brett that they should wait. The three are about to be hanged when Lucy, armed with a shotgun, shoots at the mob. The three escape into the barn, then sneak out the back with Lucy, who has horses waiting. Now Tack, Lucy, Matt and Strummer ride after Brewer's gang while Gene, Brett and the vigilantes follow. A short time later, Tack and his friends take another trail and come in from behind, just as Brett and his men confront Brewer's gang. Brewer begins shooting at Brett, angry that he led the posse to them. In the ensuing shootout, Brewer kills Brett, and when Tack and Gene come together and overpower the outlaws, Brewer reveals the truth about the robbery. With the case solved, everyone heads back to Pinetop.

Film Details

Also Known As
Vigilante Rebellion
Release Date
Nov 15, 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Allied Artists Productions, Inc.; Westwood Productions Co.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
6,310ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working title was Vigilante Rebellion. The opening and closing credits differ slightly in order. A written prologue described conditions in the [fictitious] mining town of Pinetop, CA, stating that lawlessness had led to a breakdown of law and order, but a vigilante committee that was formed to combat the outlaws soon became "feared and hated as the outlaws that terrorized the area." Modern sources add Lee Roberts, Stanley Price, Ted Mapes and Ray Jones to the cast.