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The Return of Wild Bill (1940)

Approved | | Western | 27 June 1940 (USA)
To get possession of choice ranch lands, Matt and Jake Kilgore frame Sam Griffin for stealing cattle from Lige Saunders, set themselves up as vigilantes and then hang him. Then they urge Ol... See full summary »


Joseph H. Lewis


Robert Lee Johnson (screenplay), Fred Myton (screenplay) (as Fred K. Myton) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Bill Elliott ... Wild Bill Saunders
Iris Meredith ... Sammy Lou Griffin
George Lloyd ... Matt Kilgore
Luana Walters ... Kate Kilgore
Edward LeSaint ... Lige Saunders
Frank LaRue ... Ole Mitch
Francis Walker ... Jake Kilgore
Chuck Morrison Chuck Morrison ... Henchman Bart
Dub Taylor ... Cannonball
Buel Bryant Buel Bryant ... Henchman Deputy
William Kellogg William Kellogg ... Henchman Deputy Hep
Donald Haines Donald Haines ... Bobby


To get possession of choice ranch lands, Matt and Jake Kilgore frame Sam Griffin for stealing cattle from Lige Saunders, set themselves up as vigilantes and then hang him. Then they urge Ol' Mitch, who has taken in Griffin's daughter, Sammy Lou, to take revenge against Saunders. Turning about, the brothers incite Saunders to go gunning first. Neither rancher falls for the trap; Saunders because Kate Kilgore, the only decent member of the family, tells him about her brothers' plan. Saunders sends for his son, Wild Bill Saunders, the most feared gunman in the southwest. Later, Jake Kilgore pretends to want to buy the Saunders place and, when ordered off, he shoots Saunders and leaves behind a gun that will incriminate Old Mitch. Bill arrives a few minutes later, learns from his dying father what happened and takes after Jake. A running gun fight ends in a canyon where the two men struggle hand to hand, and Jake falls dead from a bullet from his own gun intended for Bill. Meanwhile, Matt... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most feared gunman in the West adds plenty to his reputation...in the most exciting gunfight in history! (original print-ad-) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Block K Rides Again See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Follows Taming of the West (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

"That Easygoing Stick Of Dynamite"
22 June 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

As western entertainment for the Saturday matinée kiddie crowd you can't beat The Return Of Wild Bill. So identified with the nickname of Wild Bill, be it Hickok or Saunders as it is in this film, Gordon Elliott would be billed in films and for the rest of his life as Wild Bill Elliott. The movie is a fast paced hard riding, fast shooting film without too much plot to tax the brain cells.

Elliott gets word that his father is being bothered by a gang of vigilantes who are using the lack of law and order which they've created to grab a lot of ranches. They've started feuds with peaceable neighbors and they make their biggest mistake going after the father of a man who prides himself on being peaceable.

Two women vie for Wild Bill here, Iris Meredith who is the daughter of a man they've lynched and Luana Walter who is the sister of the murderous Kilgore brothers, a pair of bottom feeding villains if I ever saw two. These guys have as many redeeming qualities as Liberty Valance and I'm sure Lee Marvin would have treated his sister as badly as they do their's.

The Return Of Wild Bill is not a bad introduction to Wild Bill Elliott.

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