Marshal Johnnie Taggart (Jon Hall) , posing as an outlaw named "Ace" Braddock, comes to Bannack, Montana to restore law and order. But he is recognized by Kitty (Margaret Lindsay) , co-owner with Clay Curtwright (Robert Wilcox) of the infamous Bull Whip saloon. But "bad-girl" Kitty keeps her mouth shut. When Johnnie's pal Andy (Andy Devine) reports a stage holdup, Curtwright's henchman, Ben Borden (Jack Lambert), talks the sheriff and Judge Holden (Jonathan Hale) into suspecting Johnnie. Johnnie reveals himself to Judge Holden as a government marshal, and the judge voices his opinion that Curtwright is the leader of the road agents, but voices it in the presence of his granddaughter, Louise Holden (Paula Drew). The Judge doesn't know that Louise is in love with Curtwright, and she tips him off as to Johnnie's real identity. Curtwright frames Johnnie for a murder and arranges for the crooked sheriff to promote a lynching and Andy and Kitty help Johnnie escape jail. Johnnie rounds up ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marshal Johnnie Taggart is sent to Montana to investigate a series of stage robberies & murders, and goes undercover as outlaw Ace Braddock. Working with dance hall accordion player Andy, he is also recognized by Kitty, co-owner of the dance hall, whose other owner Clay Curtwright is the leader of the bandits. Curtwright learns of Taggart's identity and arranges a bank holdup where the watchman is killed and Taggart is framed for the murder. The only person in town besides Andy & Kitty who will stand by Taggart is Judge Holden, but this gets complicated when his granddaughter, Louise, is in love with Curtwright. Andy helps Taggart escape from jail, and sensing that he better get out while he can, Curtwright plans to take the stolen loot, but not before he can square accounts with Taggart. The movie has a b-movie cast, plot, and setting, but you can tell that Universal was trying to make this western a notch above the others they were making before, but it doesn't really come off. The Cinecolor really makes the film look too dark at the night scenes and too bright for certain day scenes. There are a good deal of fights and action scenes, the best being Taggart & Andy going through the saloon on horseback. The script does aim at a more complex nature with the Louise-Curtwright relationship, which did end differently from what I predicted. The cast is fine, even though I really don't buy Wilcox as a leader of a gang of road agents. Rating, 6.
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