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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Edwin L. Marin had a very varied directorial career. His first film was the excellent "movie" crime drama "The Death Kiss" (1932), he then directed "A Study in Scarlet" (1933). From "Sequoia" (1934) to "Listen Darling" (1938) there wasn't a genre he didn't tackle. He also directed some memorable westerns including "Abilene Town" . It stars reliable Randolph Scott as Deputy Marshall Dan Mitchell and beautiful Ann Dvorak.
Ann makes a great entrance putting her musical talents to good use. She plays Rita, the dance hall songbird who sings "I Love it Out Here in the West". She also sings "All You Gotta Do" and "Everytime I Give My Heart" during the film. She runs foul of town Marshall Dan Mitchell for singing and carousing on a Sunday (firearms have to be checked in on entering the town).
There is bad blood between the homesteaders and the cattlemen. The homesteaders have come to settle the land but the cattlemen want them out - they want the land for their cattle. Mitchell thinks the home- steaders will be there long after the ranchers are gone. After the farmers settlement is burned war is declared but the cattlemen are not the only ones with an interest in keeping the farmers out. The dance hall is secretly on the cattlemen's side but the general store does some mathematics and realise that keeping the homesteaders happy will be very good for business. Hostilities come to a head when Sherry (Rhonda Fleming in a thankless part) sells barbed wire to a very young Lloyd Bridges as Henry. He is one of the young farmers and after Sherry has a vocal showdown with Mitchell, the way is paved for Sherry and Henry to form a romantic pair. Mitchell, of course has had eyes only for Rita from the start. Edgar Buchanan plays the dithering Sheriff "Bravo" Trimble.
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