Blood on the Moon (1948)

Passed  |   |  Action, Drama, Western  |  9 November 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,418 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 11 critic

Unemployed cowhand Jim Garry is hired by his dishonest friend Tate Riling as muscle in a dispute between homesteaders and cattleman John Lufton.



(screenplay), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Tom Tully ...
John Lufton
Milo Sweet
Clifton Young ...
Joe Shotten
Frank Reardon
George Cooper ...
Ted Elser (as Richard Powers)
Bud Osborne ...
Cap Willis
Zon Murray ...
Nels Titterton
Bart Daniels


When a shady-looking stranger rides into town to join his old friend it is assumed he is a hired gun. But as the new man comes to realise the unlawful nature of his buddy's business and the way the homesteaders are being used, the two men draw apart to become sworn enemies. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BLOOD RUNS FREE...(original 11x14 Lobby Card - all caps) See more »


Action | Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacht in der Prärie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1953, RKO reissued this film theatrically on a double bill with another western, Fort Apache (1948) starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda, with the tag line "Two Rip-Roaring Action Hits!" See more »


Jim Garry: It starts with your double-cross of a bunch of jug-headed farmers and the hiring of gun hands. It goes on to your making love to a man's daughter to get her to turn against her own father, and your try for Lufton today. It's past that, to the death of Kris Barden's son, and it winds up right here, with Reardon waiting outside to see if I go with you, or if he shoots me in the back.
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Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best westerns ever made
9 July 2003 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

This film is a dark, brooding affair that has plenty of action and suspense and unfolds like an urban thriller. The story is lean and straightforward in its plot development of a range war, a staple of many westerns. Robert Mitchum is excellent as a drifting cowboy who gets caught in the middle of a feud between cattle ranchers and Barbara Bel Geddes matches him with her portrayal of a tough, feisty ranch girl. Robert Preston is also good as a rancher at odds with Tom Tully in their range war and there's a romantic angle that further complicates matters between the ranchers. The picture has crisp black and white camera work with noir shadings here and there and the music is also good. Of note in the film is a savage saloon brawl notable for its intensity, a brutal confrontation that ranks among the best in any western.

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