In August, 1863, Jim Dancer, searching for the killer of his brother, rides with Quantrell's raiders against Lawrence, Kansas. Yancey, one of the guerrillas most responsible for the band's bad name and reputation, accosts Evelyn Slocom. Yancey tell Dancer that Evelyn's father is the man who killed Dancer's brother, and Dancer takes revenge by killing him. But the man he is searching for is really the dead ma;s brother, Bert Slocum. When the Civil War ends in 1865, Dancer becomes a fugitive, hunted by Slocum and George Cummings, a detective for the Pleasanton Agency. Cummings finally catches Dancer, and it is only then that Dancer learns he killed the wrong man. While crossing the river on a makeshift ferry, Cummings is accidentally killed. When they are found, Dancer introduces himself as Cummings, saying the dead man was Jim Dancer. As Cummings, Dancer becomes a track-worker at Lanyard, Kansas. While the town is celebrating the arrival of the first cattle-drive herd from Texas, one ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After Cummings uses the town marshal's pistol to kill the gunslinger, a townsman says to the banker, "People seem to want Cummings, Burt!" Burton Cummings (a.k.a. Burt Cummings) is a famous singer for the 1960s/1970s Canadian rock band The Guess Who, and was born two years before this movie was made. The filmmakers certainly didn't know of this future connection, but it's an interesting combination of names nonetheless. See more »
Opening credits prologue:
The vast plains of the American West proved a barrier so formidable that the westward march of civilization faltered before it for more than a decade. Yet Civilization must move on and the Great Plains were finally conquered. This is the story of one of these builders of the West ... Jim Dancer, bad man, outlaw ..... Fighting man of the plains.
During the desperate days of the Civil War-August 21, 1863,-Quantrell's raid on Lawrence, Kansas.
The bloody war between the states finally came to an end, but on the border the hatreds had been too great. Men continued to ride and fight and die. The name of Quantrell was heard no more, but new names were whispered, names of men who had ridden with Quantrell and were now outlaws.
1868 ARCH CLEMENTS 1869 THE YOUNGER BROTHERS 1870 JESSE JAMES 1871 JIM DANCER 1872 - See more »
Randolph Scott is fine in interesting B-western that's above average...
One of the nice things about FIGHTING MAN OF THE PLAINS is seeing VICTOR JORY in a role where he's playing the hero's friend rather than a villain. It's an above average RANDOLPH SCOTT western that was apparently filmed originally in Cinecolor but the TCM print is in B&W.
Scott is a man running from his past who is mistaken for the lawman who captured him but got killed along the way to bringing Scott to justice. We learn later that Scott was justified in killing a man in self-defense and did not deserve a reputation as a lawless outlaw.
He proves such a good shot when attacked by a town bully, that the townspeople appoint him sheriff of a small Kansas town, post-Civil War 1870s. He's able to keep that disguise for most of the story, until some of the crooked elements in town find out his true identity and make trouble for him before he can explain what happened.
The whole story has a pleasant Zane Grey feeling about it--although it's an original one written for the screen. BILL WILLIAMS is cast against type as a villain and JANE NIGH is the romantic interest as Jory's business partner.
Plenty of action and a colorful story combine to make a good Randolph Scott western worth catching. DALE ROBERTSON is introduced as Jesse James, a man who comes to Scott's rescue when the going gets tough.
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