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1947 | 4:3 | COLOR | Quality: Excellent

Randolph Scott

Barbara Britton

Forrest Tucker


Trying to put his life as a gunfighter behind him, Brazos Kane (Randolph Scott) goes off to join old pal Bob Tyrell at the Inskip ranch, only to see him gunned down by an unseen shooter. Brazos takes the body to the Banner ranch, but the ruthless Mr. Banner (Griff Barnett) has him arrested for the murder by Bill Yount (Grant Withers), a corrupt deputy. Brazos is saved from the hangman's noose when friendly old man Inskip (Charley Grapewin) helps him escape. Brazos hooks up with lovely Bess Banner (Barbara Britton), but doesn't realize she is actually in love with rowdy ranch foreman Bard Macky (Bruce Cabot). Though he's determined to work out who the real killer is, Brazos refuses to strap on his guns despite Deputy Yount (Grant Withers) and hired gun Orcutt (Forrest Tucker) are out to stop him - either by killing him or running him out of town. When old man Inskip is murdered in cold blood, it's the last straw. Enraged, Brazos puts the guns back on goes after the bad guys - wounding corrupt Yount several times to make him talk, then calling out Orcutt and Bard for a final showdown.

Built on solid foundations due to scorching location photography and Randolph Scott prepping himself for greater things in the next decade (see also The Walking Hills 1949), it's a pleasurable piece. It also - via the narrative - isn't afraid to be bold as regards the ultimate decisions made by Scott's Brazos character, giving the pic a darker edge and being all the better for it. Elsewhere, the villains are standard stuff but entertaining regardless, the twin beauties of Britton and Hart have interesting parts to play, and the action scenes are well put together - with the pursuit sequences exciting. Filmed in Cinecolor, it's nice to report this is one of the better photographed Westerns in that format, which is just as well because the Sedona locations are to die for.

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