Gunfighter "Brazos" Kane lays aside his guns "forever" when he is forced to shoot his best friend, and decides to join another friend, Bob Tyrell, as a cowhand on the Inskip ranch. Upon ... See full summary »
Gunfighter "Brazos" Kane lays aside his guns "forever" when he is forced to shoot his best friend, and decides to join another friend, Bob Tyrell, as a cowhand on the Inskip ranch. Upon arriving there he finds the bullet-riddled body of his friend. He carries the body to the Banner ranch, the largest in the territory, and is accused by Banner of murdering Tyrell; Banner orders Deputy Sheriff Bill Yount, who is in Banner's pay, to arrest Kane. But Kane has the sympathy of Banner's daughter, Jane, who notifies Inskip of Kane's plight, and Inskip arrives in time to prevent a lynching. Sheriff Kiscade dismisses the murder charge for lack of evidence. Brazos then sets out to find the killer of his friend. Bess Bannister, Jane's sister, is in love with the Banner ranch foreman, Bard Macky, and knowing that Bard killed Tyrell and that Kane will track him down, then hampers Kane's mission somewhat by pretending to be in love with him. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Pretty standard fare--which is NOT a bad thing with a Randolph Scott film
Saying that a Randolph Scott film is ordinary is NOT a bad thing at all, as this ordinary was still amazingly good. While I like a good western, I always look forward to one of Scott's, as his films were consistently fine--and set a high standard for the industry. So, when I say that "Gunfighters" is about average for him, this is still more than enough reason to find this movie.
The film begins with a friend of Brazos Kane (Scott) challenging him to the draw. Without thinking, he turns and shoots the friend--nearly killing him. That's when Kane realizes he has got to hang up his guns, as practically all the punks are itching to duel it out with his legendary gunfighter. So, he leaves town and heads to the ranch belonging to an old friend--only to find the guy dead--a victim of a murder. Still swearing to avoid a life of violence, he swears to find out who did it and bring them to justice. However, naturally, there are some baddies (two of the baddest in these films, Bruce Cabot and Forrest Tucker) aren't about to give up and decide to shoot Kane--whether he is willing to pick up a gun or not. Along the way, Kane becomes involved with two sisters who look very much alike (oddly, they actually are played by two different actresses--not the same lady--but they do look like sisters!). Can he manage to maintain his vow never to shoot again and still get justice?
The best thing about the film is Scott's easygoing acting style. It manages to make all his films (even the poor ones) well worth seeing. The wonderful California and Arizona locations shot in vivid color didn't hurt, either! I also appreciate the ending, though it will no doubt disappoint many. It does NOT have the predictable and nice Hollywood ending--and this might be something you dislike, but I thought it added some nice tension to the film. Keeping things unresolved didn't bother me. The only thing that ever bothers me is because I am a history teacher I realize that this film represents a highly idealized version of the west--not what really was. In reality, shootouts were rare and most of the time it really consisted of some jerk shooting some poor slob in the back--not the clichéd shootout on main street at high noon! Still, entertaining and well made.
FYI--The film is currently available for legal free viewing and download at archive-org--a site frequently linked to IMDb listings.
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