Arriving in Arizona on a wagon train in 1866 former Confederate officer Jackson Redan partners with local businessman Don Miguel while their competitor Asa Goodhue is joined by opportunistic drifter Jacob Stint.
Edwin L. Marin
In August, 1863, Jim Dancer, searching for the killer of his brother, rides with Quantrell's raiders against Lawrence, Kansas. Yancey, one of the guerrillas most responsible for the band's bad name and reputation, accosts Evelyn Slocom. Yancey tell Dancer that Evelyn's father is the man who killed Dancer's brother, and Dancer takes revenge by killing him. But the man he is searching for is really the dead ma;s brother, Bert Slocum. When the Civil War ends in 1865, Dancer becomes a fugitive, hunted by Slocum and George Cummings, a detective for the Pleasanton Agency. Cummings finally catches Dancer, and it is only then that Dancer learns he killed the wrong man. While crossing the river on a makeshift ferry, Cummings is accidentally killed. When they are found, Dancer introduces himself as Cummings, saying the dead man was Jim Dancer. As Cummings, Dancer becomes a track-worker at Lanyard, Kansas. While the town is celebrating the arrival of the first cattle-drive herd from Texas, one ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re-release prints were struck in black-and-white. See more »
Opening credits prologue:
The vast plains of the American West proved a barrier so formidable that the westward march of civilization faltered before it for more than a decade. Yet Civilization must move on and the Great Plains were finally conquered. This is the story of one of these builders of the West ... Jim Dancer, bad man, outlaw ..... Fighting man of the plains.
During the desperate days of the Civil War-August 21, 1863,- Quantrell's raid on Lawrence, Kansas.
The bloody war between the states finally came to an end, but on the border the hatreds had been too great. Men continued to ride and fight and die. The name of Quantrell was heard no more, but new names were whispered, names of men who had ridden with Quantrell and were now outlaws.
1868 ARCH CLEMENTS 1869 THE YOUNGER BROTHERS 1870 JESSE JAMES 1871 JIM DANCER 1872 - See more »
After a fast start, this western settles into what amounts to a plot-heavy gab fest. I'm afraid fans expecting hard-riding, fast-shooting, or scenic horizons, are going to be disappointed. Not that everything is downside. No western with the great Randy Scott can be overlooked; also, perennial bad guy Victor Jory gets to essay a good guy, for a change. And, I really like Bill Williams as a boyishly unlikely gunsel. Then add pudgy, squinty-eyed Barry Kelley as the lead black hat, and it's a fine cast.
Too bad indie producer Nat Holt apparently spent everything on casting since it left him little for filming outside of studio sets. This results in a basically 'indoor' western with some action in the streets. Maybe that's the result of adapting Gruber's novel to the screen and leaving little out. So you may need a scorecard to keep up with all the characters and plot developments.
One thing to notice— how county officials are really being shown as in on the graft. I love that scene where justice of the peace (Williams) gouges penalty money out of anyone who dares speak up and then splits it up with his cronies. That's certainly no western cliché. All in all, the movie's long on complex story but short on traditional outdoor visuals. Still, even here, no one looks more the western hero than the iron-jawed Scott.
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