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The Showdown (1950)

Approved | | Mystery, Western | 15 August 1950 (USA)
Shadrach Jones is convinced that his brother was robbed and killed by a Circle K Ranch cowhand and therefore he joins the outfit in order to find the murderer.

Directors:

, (as Stuart McGowan)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Stuart McGowan) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Shadrach Jones (as William Elliott)
...
Cap MacKellar
...
Adelaide
...
Rod Main (as Henry Morgan)
...
Chokecherry
...
Cochran
...
Mike Shattay
...
Gonzales
...
Big Mart
Henry Rowland ...
Dutch
...
Indian Joe
Victor Kilian ...
Hemp
...
Davis
...
Pickney
...
Terry
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Storyline

Shadrach Jones, ex-Texas State Policeman, has a ruthless determination to find and kill the man who shot his brother in the back and stole the money with which he was to buy a ranch for he and Shadrach. At the saloon-hotel ran by Adelaide, Shadrach is convinced that one of the cowhands on a cattle drive by Captain McKellar to Montana is the killer, and he takes the trail-herd boss job to identify the man. McKellar preaches to Jones that he should forget revenge and let the law of retribution take care of the killer. Shadrach's hard driving of the men and his hunt for the killer makes him bitterly hated, and his retribution quest ends in a manner he has not anticipated. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"If Any Man 's Missing at Daybreak, I'll Take It As a Confession of MURDER!" See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sleep All Winter  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire Arizona to Montana cattle drive was filmed entirely on the Republic back lot using process photography rear projection involving stock footage and newly photographed second unit background scenes. See more »

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User Reviews

 
La Pistolita
29 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Showdown is one unusual western product from Herbert J. Yates's Republic Pictures. It's a vengeance quest tale the kind of thing Randolph Scott would be doing in his westerns. Wild Bill Elliott, hero to many a kid for being Red Ryder plays a mean and vicious former state Texas policeman on the trail of someone who shot his brother in the back. The film also bears a lot of resemblance in the production values to the Dick Powell western, Stagecoach West.

The film opens with Elliott digging up his brother's body at the graveyard, an unusual enough opening for a western. 19th century forensics shows Elliott that his brother was killed, shot in the back with a derringer. It's the only clue he's got to the identity of the perpetrator.

Cattleowner Walter Brennan hires Elliott to drive his herd through to Montana. Elliott was a member of the Texas Police when Texas was under carpetbagger rule. The mostly ex-rebels who are Brennan's hands have a hate on for Elliott on general principles. He hires on because he's got reason to suspect his culprit will be on the cattle drive.

Take a look down the cast list and you'll see that we've got a treasure trove full of suspects, remembering the roles a lot of these people play in films. A few get killed along the way and are eliminated as suspects, some are eliminated by other means. I have to say that I guessed wrong myself as to the identity.

The Showdown teases you every minute of the film as to the identity of the murderer. Elliott schemes and searches his suspects for the owner of La Pistolita. In this great cast I have to say that one who stands out is Harry Morgan. He plays very much against type as a hot tempered young gunslinger, far from Colonel Sherman Potter of MASH as you can get.

When the identity of the killer is revealed the climax is in how it happens, how the individual meets his end and Elliott's reaction to same. The Showdown is a great example of blended genre, a western noir. It's a real crackerjack sleeper of a film and I think people who generally don't like westerns will gravitate to this film.


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