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 »
Fast-moving very fine Western, with the grim and great Randolph Scott
This is a real humdinger of a western. The plot and dialogue move along quickly, with no time wasted on unlikely romance or saloon song. On the contrary, this tight little gem centers fully and solely on the great Randolph Scott. Here, Scott is at his lean, trim, handsomest best; the director senses this, and the film is noteworthy for featuring a number of lovely, soft, lingering close-ups of Randolph's grim face. To me, this is a wonderful touch and a delightful tribute to one the Westerns' greatest stars.
The co-stars are fine as well, but they definitely play second fiddle to Scott. One unexpected twist involves the town's "tinhorn" gambler, played by Victor Jory. Jory is the only member of the town to recognize Scott as a wanted outlaw, and is certainly in a position to blackmail him; however, in a quite unusual development, Jory chooses to befriend Scott, and remains his loyal friend to the end.
"Fighting Man on the Plains" is the perfect late-40's Western, a fully mature old-fashioned good-guys vs. bad-guys bit of adult theatre, a genre film crafted to its full potential; and it sets the stage nicely for the more psychologically complex Westerns of the 50's.
Highly recommended for lovers of Westerns.
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