Texas cattle baron Stiles killed John Clayborn's parents ten years earlier. Now a lawyer, Clayborn tries legally to break up Stiles' water monopoly and rustling operation. When that fails he must use force.
As a youngster John Wyatt saw his parents killed and his brother kidnapped. On a wagon train heading West he meets his brother who is now a spy for the gang which originally did the dirty work. He and his brother both fall for Mary Gordon.
Robert N. Bradbury
Frank McGlynn Jr.
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Profiteer Alexander Stiles lays claim to a million acres of range in the Pecos River country, but a rancher named Claybor stands in his way as he has already claimed the water-rich location of Sweetwater as his own, and refuses Stiles' $1000 offer for his land. Led by the murderous Ash, the hired guns of Stiles kill Clayborn and his wife but their young son John survives and joins his grandfather in Austin. As the boy grows into a man he learns the use of a law book as well as a six gun, intending to use both to bring Stiles to justice. As lawyer John Clay, he travels to the Cottonwood headquarters of Stiles, self-proclaimed King of the Pecos, and meets Hank Matthews and Josh Billings, two cattlemen thrown into poverty through the crooked dealings of Stiles. John serves a summons for Stiles to appear in court but the circuit judge is too frightened to face the might of Stiles. John sends Hank to round up other impoverished cattlemen, and they provide the judge with an armed escort to ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
(opening titles) In the seventies, Texas and New Mexico constituted a vast, open cattle range. Land laws and water rights were indefinite and millions of acres of range were often claimed thru a so-called "right of discovery." See more »
High Joe Kane production values, great story, and, of course, the Duke
Iconic director Joseph Kane shows here why he is rated so highly by western and film aficionados. Republic (I like the sound of that word) and Kane and John Wayne are simply unbeatable.
In addition to a superlative story by Bernard McConville, an excellent cast and beautiful scenery create a nearly perfect western.
One bonus is the lovely Muriel Evans, one of the, in fact, loveliest heroines of B westerns in Republic's history. She showed, besides looks, a lot more personality than most of the B heroines.
When Turner Classic Movies showed, on 20 August 2015, a marathon of Mae Clarke movies, one of Ms. Clarke's premier performances came in a little-known film titled "Fast Workers." Muriel Evans had one scene, as a nurse, in which she mostly looked on, then had a few lines.
And in that small part, she didn't quite steal the movie, but sure did make an impression, with a fascinating performance.
She shows even more personality here, in "King of the Pecos," a fairly routine western, perhaps, but with such a sterling cast and superb directing and scenery that can and should make you want to pack your bags. Watch her in scenes where she might be only entering or leaving and you can't help admiring her presence and control.
She has an expressive face and eyes that enthrall.
John Wayne stands tall, demonstrates his personality that led him to be Hollywood's biggest star of all time, but isn't really stretched as an actor.
He is aided by two unknown but immensely talented character actors, playing "Josh" and "Hank," who do generally steal every scene they're in. And praise be, their humor is not the usual silly stuff so often found in B westerns.
The three chief bad guys are among the best in Hollywood history, Cy Kendall, Yakima Canutt, and Jack Clifford, of whom I blush to admit I know almost nothing -- except he is GREAT in this role.
There are several versions of "King of the Pecos" at YouTube and I picked the longest one. Don't you make that mistake. It's longer because whoever posted it tacked on several minutes of the ending twice.
It's a beautiful print, in brightness and contrast, but there are some strange technical glitches that cause the background to wave and wobble.
Still, the extraordinarily high quality of the production makes such stuff irrelevant. I highly recommend "King of the Pecos."
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