Brothers Mike and Tim McCall own a large ranch in Arizona, using the surrounding lands for grazing cattle. Stanley Cox and LeRoy Stanton sell this land to settlers who arrive to find it ...
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Indian fighter, trapper and frontier scout Kit Carson leads a wagon train of settlers from Fort Bridger, along the Oregon Trail through Shoshone territory, to California which plans to secede from Mexico.
Brothers Mike and Tim McCall own a large ranch in Arizona, using the surrounding lands for grazing cattle. Stanley Cox and LeRoy Stanton sell this land to settlers who arrive to find it bone dry, as a dam on the McCall ranch controls the water. Among the settlers are John Dawson and his daughter Connie. The latter goes to the nearest town to take action, but Sheriff Ball tells him there is nothing he can do. Tim falls for Connie but Mike is unimpressed with her charms. While returning from a town dance, Tim discovers Stanton trying to dynamite the dam, and is killed in the ensuing gunfight. Stanton later sends his men to stampede the cattle while he and Cox blow up the dam. Despite the efforts of Mike and Sheriff Ball, the cattle are wiped out and Mike races to the dam and kills Stanton in a gunfight. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the company went on location in northern California, co-star Gale Storm had to bring along her three sons because her husband was away on a business trip. According to the publicity materials for this film, Allied Artists became the first studio in Hollywood to have a babysitter on its payroll. See more »
First-rate cinematography lifts noirish tale of conflict over water
The team that made "Stampede" (1949) also made "Short Grass" (1950). These are good B+ westerns. This one has more of a noir tilt than "Short Grass". Rod Cameron plays an uncompromising cattleman who runs a spread with his happy-go-lucky brother Don Castle. The territory has become subject to new land laws and a rather unscrupulous group has sold off lots to some people from Illinois. Their parcels lack water, because long ago Cameron's dad damned up a river and created his own lake. The speculators pressure Cameron through the local banker's calling in his loan. A full scale conflict develops. Gale Storm plays a feisty settler whom Castle likes but who seems to set her sights on Cameron, while still battling him at every turn.
Rod Cameron in westerns is sort of like a predecessor to Clint Eastwood's man with no name, even though he has a name in his movies. He has a certain independence, a bearing, a strong delivery of brief lines, a quiet strength. He's also not an unambiguous good guy. His character and persona are very different from the leads in the western series like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
The cinematography in this movie is competitive with many film noirs. It can be enjoyed from that angle.
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