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It's 1893 and gold is being smuggled out of the country. Instead of stealing gold bars, the outlaws are stealing high grade ore, having it smelted, and then having it plated to look like lead. The Government sends agents Bret and Larry who arrive in Cripple Creek posing as Texas gunfighters. Bret finds the smelting operation and Larry learns of the payoff. But the crooked town Marshal is suspicious of the two men and the reply of his inquiry to Texas exposes them putting their lives in danger. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Very sad affair...but it's the best night's business we've had for some time. I can make a very attractive club rate for six.
Marshal John Tetheroe:
Well, Silver, you can lock up now. The corpus delicti have been identified and Hawkins here offers a very good club rate -- six coffins, no flowers, no mourners.
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The script sprawls some, but the oater's well cast and entertaining. Three Secret Service agents led by Ivers (Montgomery) go undercover to break up a gold smuggling ring in Cripple Creek, headed by a smug city slicker, Silver (Bishop). Two sequences are real nail-bitersthe Russian roulette scene that's really well done, and the smelter scene that pays good attention to detail. Then again, there's the silly barroom brawl that suggests the influence of a kids' matinée feature. Really, George Cleveland's crusty old grouch is all the comedy relief that's needed. Anyway, the western's uncommonly well cast with familiar faces up and down the line. The script even manages a good surprise at the end. As a former resident of the real Cripple Creek, however, I'm surprised at how much that mountain town resembles LA's San Fernando Valley, as though that matters entertainment-wise. Anyway, it's a pretty good western somewhere between an A and B production.
(In passing-- the Cripple Creek gold camp was a boom town for several decades; then became a near-ghost town in the 1950's after the price of gold was frozen; but has lately revived with casino gambling and a and a return to market pricing. It's got a magnificent scenic view across a hundred miles of South Park to the main range of the Rockies. So visit there if you can.)
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