Belle Andrews' (Constance Bennett) gambling hall burns down in the Chicago fire of 1871 and, now penniless, she accepts Jim Farrel's (Warren William) invitation to accompany him to Powder River, Montana, to open a gambling casino. Farrel has plans to get control of all the land in Powder River by hiring henchmen to file claims on the land, a proceeding overlooked by the settlers. On the stagecoach to Powder River, they meet Wild Bill Hickok (Bruce Cabot). Once there, Farrel has his claim jumpers go to work, and even has Ned Nolan (Russell Simpson) convicted of a framed-up murder charge, and fixes the jury just to be safe. Hickok then begins to organize the settlers to fight back against Farrel. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Ray Teal is credited onscreen as "Beadle", but when he is sworn in as a witness, his name is "Jack Handley". Similarly, Dick Botiller is credited as "Sager" but is called "Mr. Knox", and Elliott Sullivan is credited as "Bart Hanna" but is called "Mr. Harris". See more »
Wild Bill Hickok was used in a fictional story about his romance with a saloon entertainer in Wild Bill Hickok Rides. Bruce Cabot takes the part of Hickok in a western that I think may have originally been intended for Errol Flynn with possibly Ann Sheridan in the female lead.
Instead of Sheridan, Constance Bennett is our entertainer who has come west to Powder River, Montana after being burned out of Chicago in that famous fire that Mrs. O'Leary's cow took the rap for. She's gotten a handsome offer from smooth Warren William setting himself up as the local kingpin with a bit of claim jumping.
But in shopping around she gets a much better offer from Cabot as the legendary lawman of the west. Cabot's not working for the law here as William has bought the local law in the person of Sheriff Ward Bond.
Nice action finale with a blazing gun battle and a dam being blown up by the villains. Wild Bill Hickok Rides isn't exactly the sophisticated fare that Connie Bennett did in her salad days. But western fans will have nothing to complain about.
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