Cast & Crew
Greenhorn Jim Hughes arrives in rural Putnam County with his wife Ellen and young son Paul to buy a cattle ranch from by Col. Bernin, a retired Marine officer. In town, Jim is summoned to the office of Clem Krivak, the head of the Cattlemen's Association. Krivak, who owns the ranch bordering Jim's property, offers to buy Jim's ranch, and when Jim refuses, Krivak makes a veiled threat and a reference to an unsavory event in Jim's past. After Jim leaves, Krivak calls in Andy, one of his thugs, who holds a grudge against Jim from his days in the Marine Corps. Andy confirms that Jim, a former war hero, was sent to prison for manslaughter after accidentally killing a man during a quarrel. To stir up trouble, Krivak sics his vicious dog on Paul's tame little canine. As Paul and Jim helplessly watch, the dog kills Paul's pet. On the road to the ranch, the Hughes's car breaks down during a rainstorm, and Paul finds an abandoned wolf cub, cowering, hungry and alone. Paul begs Jim to let him keep the animal, which he promises to tame and names "Dog." At the ranch, Col. Bernin hands the deed and twenty head of cattle over to Jim and then volunteers that he thinks Jim got a "raw deal" and is trying to make it up to him. Soon after, Krivak and Andy come to the ranch, and Paul overhears Krivak taunt Jim about his prison sentence. Paul, unaware of Jim's criminal past, had been told that his father's absence was due to his being stationed in South America for several years. Paul feels betrayed by the deception, but his mother comforts the boy by assuring him that Jim was a true war hero and was decorated for valor. Twelve days before the cattle are to be shipped to market, Andy shows up at the Hughes's ranch and incites a fight with Jim. Soon after, Jim visits Johnson, his parole officer, who informs him that Andy has filed a complaint against him. Johnson then shows Jim a newspaper story about two parolees, Hawkins and Lee Trent, who have robbed the local bank, and warns that they have created a wave of hysteria against all parolees. Johnson cautions Jim not to prejudice the parole board against him by antagonizing Krivak. One day before the cattle shipment, Paul and Jim find their fences cut and the herd scattered by Krivak's men. After Paul and Jim separate to search for the missing cattle, Paul spots Krivak's men shepherding the animals across a river. When Dog dives in after the rustlers, Paul follows and is swept away by the onrushing current. Dog helps to keep Paul afloat until Jim hears his son's cries for help and comes to the rescue. From the river bank, the fugitives, Trent and Hawkins, watch as Paul and Jim climb out of the water and then, at gunpoint, order Jim to hide them until Hawkins, who has been shot, is well enough to travel. Hawkins has been badly wounded, and Trent sends Paul to town to purchase an anti-coagulant. While Paul is in the pharmacy, Krivak's dog attacks Dog, but Dog prevails and mortally injures his opponent. Back at the ranch, Trent learns about the attack and warns that Krivak will seek revenge. Soon after, Krivak and his thugs come to the ranch, and Paul, Dog, Hawkins and Trent hide in the closet. Krivak demands that the wolf be turned over to him, and when Dog barks, Trent orders Paul to take the wolf to Krivak. After Paul and Dog come out of the closet, Krivak points his gun at Dog, but Jim knocks the weapon from his hand and soundly thrashes Krivak, then orders him and his thugs to leave the house. After Krivak departs, the marshals, who have tracked Trent and Hawkins to Putnam County, drive up. As Trent positions himself at the window, ready to shoot, Jim pushes him aside and calls out to alert the marshals. While attempting to flee out the back, Trent and Hawkins are gunned down by the lawmen. All ends happily as Krivak pays Jim back for his lost cattle and Jim is exonerated of any complicity with the fugitives.
Bernard [b.] Brown
Onscreen credits note that the film was produced and photographed entirely in Canada. According to an August 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item, Regal Films Ltd. was a Canadian subsidiary of Regal Films, Inc., and was established to produce films in Canada to fill Twentieth Century-Fox's quota for British films. Modern sources add Glen Momott to the cast.