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Colt .45 (1950)

Approved | | Western | 27 May 1950 (USA)
Gun salesman Steve Farrell gets two of his new Colt .45 pistols stolen from him by ruthless killer Jason Brett but vows to recover them.



(as Thomas Blackburn)

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Cast overview:
Beth Donovan
Jason Brett
Paul Donovan
Sheriff Harris


Gun salesman Steve Farrell gets two of his new Colt .45 pistols stolen from him by ruthless killer Jason Brett and vows to recover them as Brett and his gang leave behind wake of robbery and murder throughout the territory. When Farrell recovers a stagecoach carrying gold and brings it back to town, he is made a deputy but unknown to him the sheriff is on league with the outlaws as is Paul and Beth Donovan, an apparently clean-cut young couple with ambitions for quick wealth. Although the town members are apathetic toward helping Steve, he gets plenty of assistance from Walking Bear, an Indian chief grateful that Steve saved his life. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The gun that became the law of the land !




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 May 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thundercloud  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


To avoid confusing it with its TV series of the same name--Colt .45 (1957)--Warner Bros. changed the film's title to "Chief Thundercloud." It has subsequently reverted back to its original title. See more »


The fire pit in the tepee appears to be made from brick and mortar. Indians who used tepees were nomadic in nature. A permanent fire pit as that shown in the movie would not have been implemented by nomadic Indian tribes. See more »


Beth Donovan: [to Brett] There's another pair of .45's out there now... and a better man.
See more »


Followed by Colt .45 (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

"White men crazy."
15 May 2005 | by (Florida, New York) – See all my reviews

In "Colt .45", Randolph Scott portrays military hero turned sales representative Steve Farrell who's employed by the Colt Firearm Company, a theme that will be picked up by the late 1950's classic TV Western of the same name. His nemesis in the film, Jason Brett (Zachary Scott) is a clever outlaw who manages to trick the local populace into believing that Farrell is the leader of the Colt .45 Gang, so named because of the crimes committed with a set of Farrell's own stolen handguns. The film hosts some rather big names, but somewhat fails to satisfy in it's uneven delivery and sometimes sloppy, and in at least one instance, comical editing.

As Farrell pursues Brett's gang in an attempt to clear his name, he befriends Indian Chief Walking Bear (Chief Thundercloud), who now allies himself with Farrell, which is fortunate, as the Chief's tribe manages to show up just in the nick of time on a number of occasions to save Farrell's hide.

Brett's gang includes Paul and Beth Donovan (Lloyd Bridges and Ruth Roman), but motivations and alliances change rather quickly in the film. Paul only plans to remain an outlaw until his big score, while Beth suffers pangs of conscience and decides she'll come clean. It won't help to seek aid from Sheriff Harris (Alan Hale), as he's one of the bad guys. Paul shoots Beth, but she's nursed back to health rather miraculously by an Indian squaw. In turn, Brett shoots Paul, who fancies himself an equal partner in the outlaw business.

For his part, Steve Farrell takes his share of lumps in the film, getting framed by Brett more than once, getting knocked out with his own gun at the hand of Mrs. Donovan, and falling for the old rope across the trail trick. Perhaps he would have fared better if he hadn't changed into the all black outfit a third of the way through the movie.

At one point, as Sheriff Harris' posse closes in on Farrell, the sheriff takes an arrow to the chest and goes down hard. So it seems rather odd that he makes it back into town just about as quick as Farrell and Walking Bear who are about to square off against the bad guys.

Pay close attention as Farrell and Walking Bear lay in ambush behind a building for Brett's henchmen to walk by. As the last gang member walks past, Walking Bear lunges at his neck with both outstretched hands. All of a sudden, a rope appears ???, and the Indian proceeds to bring him down to the ground. I had to rewind and play the scene three times to believe what I was seeing.

Having seen only a few of Randolph Scott's Westerns, I'm convinced this cannot be one of his better ones. "Ten Wanted Men", "The Stranger Wore a Gun", and "The Bounty Hunter" each appealed to me more, and even these are not among his best works.

Chief Thundercloud cuts an imposing figure as Walking Bear, but he comes across as stiff and not as effective as you would expect a tribal leader to be. By 1950, he was nearing the end of his film career; my first introduction to the Chief was his rather fine portrayal of Tonto in the first two Lone Ranger serials of 1938 and 1939 (The Lone Ranger, and The Lone Ranger Rides Again). Trivia fans will either be surprised or disappointed to know that Thundercloud's real name was Victor Daniels.

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