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Plainsman and the Lady (1946)

Approved | | Western | 11 November 1946 (USA)
St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1859, is divided by a railroad track that separates the richer and poorer classes of people. From the richer side comes Ann Arnesen, daughter of Michael Arnesen, ... See full summary »


(as Joe Kane)


(screenplay), (original story) | 1 more credit »


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Two fugitive Texan brothers at odds with one another flee to Colorado where they take jobs with rival bosses.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Colton (as William Elliott)
Ann Arnesen
Cathy Arnesen
Peter Marquette
Feisty (as Donald Barry)
Judge Winters
Michael H. Arnesen (as Reinhold Schunzel)
Sen. Gwin
Mr. Russell
Manuel Lopez
Mr. Simmons


St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1859, is divided by a railroad track that separates the richer and poorer classes of people. From the richer side comes Ann Arnesen, daughter of Michael Arnesen, owner of the Pony Express. Michael hires Sam Cotton to protect his pony line from hostile Indians and the attacks of the gang of Peter Marquette, owner of a stagecoach line who fears losing his contracts to the pony riders. Sam finds himself in a difficult position because Michael's wife, Cathy, is in love with Marquette. Sam, despite several attacks by Marquette's men, organizes the pony line. The ailing Michael is shocked to death by his wife's confession of hate, and Marquette tries to destroy the express stations. Sam, with the aid of a friendly Indian tribe, finally wipes out Marquette and his gang, and returns to St. Joseph and Ann, the woman he loves. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pony express | See All (1) »


The Inspired Epic of the Pony Express!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 November 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drumbeats Over Wyoming  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (1954 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The part of "Sam Colton" was originally offered to John Wayne, but he didn't like the script--and didn't want to work with Vera Ralston again--and refused it. It was then given to Bill Elliott. See more »

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User Reviews

Top rating for cast, story, script, and directing
19 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

Joseph Kane is generally well regarded as a Western director, but he simply out-did himself with "Plainsman and the Lady."

Yes, he had a superlative cast, but he got more than a Western movie: He got superb performances from his actors in the drawing room, in the saloon, in the public square, on the battlefield.

"Plainsman and the Lady" -- and Republic's Herbert Yates seemed to love titles of "The Something and the Something Else" -- is, of course, fiction, based loosely on the creation of the Pony Express, although the names Russell, Majors, and Waddell were from history.

William Elliott's character, Sam Cotton -- which is, for some reason, mis-called in IMDb's listing as "Sam Colton," although I have tried to correct it on 19 April 2017 -- is pure invention, as are the Arnesens and Marquette. (In fact, I have now tried FOUR TIMES to make the corrections, and FOUR TIMES have been ignored!)

But story writers Michael Uris and Ralph Spence have tied together their real and fictive elements into an exciting story with many characters and vivid settings.

There is a huge cast, with some Western movie stalwarts such as Donald Barry, in an unfortunate role, Hal Taliaferro, veteran Paul Hurst, Jack Lambert, Noble Johnson, and someone I had never before seen in a movie, a man much more famous as a song-writer, Stuart ("Don't call me 'Stu'") Hamblen.

Such a strong cast can make a Western movie lover miss or ignore any flaws. Frankly, I doubt there were any. This is a great movie.

You can catch it where I did, at YouTube. And you should. It is, as I said, and as I will say again, a great movie.

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