In the years following the Civil War, the town of Abilene, Kansas is poised on the brink of an explosive confrontation. A line has been drawn down the center of the town where the homesteaders and the cattlemen have come to a very uneasy truce. The delicate peace is inadvertantly shattered when a group of new homesteaders lay down their stakes on the cattlemen's side of town, upsetting the delicate balance that had existed thus far and sparking an all-out war between the farmers, who want the land tamed and property lines drawn, and the cowboys, who want the prairies to be open for their cattle to roam. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Five years after the end of the Civil War, a thousand-mile cattle trail stretched from the plains of Texas to the railroad depots in Kansas. For ninety grueling days, through dust, heat, flies, loneliness, cowboys pushed Texas cattle northward on the Abilene Trail at an average speed of three quarters of a mile an hour toward Abilene, Kansas where raw-bred Southern beef could be turned into hard, Eastern cash. Abilene was the end of the trail, the end of the ...
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Five years after the US Civil War, western folk are more concerned with the age old war between homesteaders and cattle ranchers. The cattlemen herd their wares, from Texas to the trail town of Abilene, Kansas. There, the cowboys find not only big money, but also big confrontation, with homesteaders. Tall in the saddle Marshal Randolph Scott (as Dan Mitchell) tries to keep peace in the town. Mr. Scott has experience mediating between trail hands and saloon patrons. He also juggles the town's finest looking women: sexy saloon singer Ann Dvorak (as Rita) and pretty church lady Rhonda Fleming (as Sherry). Boozy county Sheriff Edgar Buchanan (as Bravo Trimble) offers more comic relief than sharp-shooting assistance.
"Abilene Town" begins with some promising symbolism and contrast: gunshots interrupt Scott and Ms. Fleming singing a hymn in Church; then, the camera switches to Ms. Dvorak sexily singing her saloon number, which causes a man to fire his gun in pleasure. After that, it really becomes quite a standard western; it is somehow duller than it should be, but not quite awful. Young Lloyd Bridges appears as one of the homesteaders. Dvorak's leggy costume is the film's greatest asset; in it, she is a real mover.
**** Abilene Town (1/11/46) Edwin L. Marin ~ Randolph Scott, Ann Dvorak, Edgar Buchanan
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