A few minutes before he is killed by an unseen gunman using a split-butt rifle, in a saloon in Tumult, Wyoming, railway employee Harley Masters gives a secret map to Deputy Marshal Ed Garry. Garry is questioned about the murder by Master's niece Janet; her cousin Bill Masters; the town big-shot, Joel Benton and Doc Vinson. Garry meets Claire Benton when her brother and his henchman Eli Cressett question Garry about the map. Garry accuses Cressett of being one of the two wanted men he is seeking. Cressett, aided by Benton, escapes from jail. Garry and Janet find a split-butt rifle near where one of her hands was killed in a rustling raid. They take it to town and Garry telegraphs the Winchester Arms Company and asks the name of the purchaser based on their serial number records. Cressett meets with Bill Masters, the real leader of the gang, and is offered more money if he will kill Benton. He agrees, but intends to double-cross Masters. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Lippert Pictures produced in Deputy Marshal a fine B western that has a nice touch of mystery about it. The film was a joint project for Jon Hall and Frances Langford who were married at the time. Langford got a couple of western type songs to sing and I'm sure that was something she insisted on before doing the film.
Jon Hall is in the title role though he's incognito for the first quarter of the film. He's on the trail of a pair of fugitives who have long eluded capture when he comes across a shot man in the person of Wheaton Chambers. Hall takes Chambers to the town they're both headed for and another shot in ambush finishes the job on Chambers, but not before Chambers gives Hall a written message for his niece Frances Langford.
At that point Hall gets himself into the middle of a range war between two female ranch owners, Langford and Julie Bishop. And he's got a host of other suspects in a town that's right unfriendly to him that include Dick Foran, Joe Sawyer, and Russell Hayden. His only friend in the town seems to be Clem Bevans playing one of his patented old codger roles.
Deputy Marshal has a nice blend of mystery and action in it and should readily please western fans. It certainly pleased this one. Deputy Marshal is one of Lippert Pictures better westerns.
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