In Tomahawk, the crooked Jackman brothers control the town, Sheriff Dunham is up for re-election, the sheep growers are banned in town and a stagecoach line undercover investigator arrives to catch the gang that regularly robs the stages.
Outlaw Brett Stanton and his gang, which includes his brother, Gar,ride into Carson City, Nevada, which is filled with people who have come there from all over to see the Heavyweight Championship prizefight between James J. "Gentleman Jim" Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons. Broke and disgruntled, the gang asks Bret what he intends to do, and he tells them he is planning the biggest haul they have ever made. But gangs led by Johnny Ringo and Bob Thraikill are also in town with plans of their own, and no intention of abiding by Brett's plan. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Offbeat, if predictable, color western of the early '50s, with a cast of big name major players. You will probably have to catch it as a Saturday morning western on Fox channel, as it doesn't appear to be available on VHS or DVD.
The plot surrounds the designs of 3 small outlaw gangs to make off with the substantial take of ticket sales and bets on the historic heavyweight bout between "Gentleman" Jim Corbet and challenger Bob Fitzsimmons in Carson City, Nevada, shortly before the turn of the century. Dale Robertson is the well-spoken tall dark and handsome leader of one of these gangs, a strong cue that he is the leading man of this yarn. The leaders of the 3 gangs and the sheriff seem all too familiar and chummy with each other to ring true. As 3 supposedly notorious outlaw gangs, one would think the sheriff would have at least one outstanding warrant against each. Instead, he offers to deputize the leaders of each, to supposedly ensure that their gangs won't pull any shenanigans during this big media event. The other 2 leaders immediately turn down this offer, but Robertson eventually accepts it and arm twists the other two very reluctant leaders to follow suit. Of course, each still plans to make off with the bonanza, together, if not alone.
Jean Crain, as the one time girlfriend of Robertson, doesn't get much screen time, despite top billing. She is the romantic object contested between Robertson and man-about-town Jim London. Crain and Robertson go back and forth several times about whether they want to hook up again, but we can guess the eventual outcome, after Robertson decides which side of the law he wants to be on.
Richard Boone plays Johnny Ringo, leader of one of the gangs. If that name sounds familiar, "the" Johnny Ringo was a notorious badman in Texas and around Tombstone, AZ, and enemy of the Earp brothers, with as much legends as facts surrounding his name. You will no doubt encounter his name occasionally in other Westerns. Since we have an exact date for the present yarn, in the fight, I can say that "the" Johnny Ringo had been in the grave for 15 years. An imposter? Lloyd Bridges plays Robertson's brother(as different in looks from Robertson as one can image brothers to be!) Lloyd doesn't buy into his brother's ambiguity as to which side of the law he wants to be on, and eventually comes to grief.
The fight itself receives minimal screen time and appears a rather dull affair. The champs look to have pitifully ordinary physiques compared to present day contenders. Could have used Errol Flynn to give the fight a bit of charisma. At least they got it right that Fitzsimmons emerged the new heavyweight champion(but reportedly only after his wife yelled a new punching strategy during a bout).
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