When Cochise bands together with Geronimo and other Indian tribes, Major Colton abandons his fort, heading towards Fort Sheridan, through Apache Pass. The only thing in his way are the Indians he used to call his friends.
Having masterminded the hold up of his company office, a mining engineer is barred from the industry. He then sets up shop as an assayer, scheming to acquire a rich silver mine lease from its operators.
Yvonne De Carlo,
Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
As Monogram Pictures morphed into Allied Artists, they tried to raise the quality of their projects. As the demand for their B westerns disappeared, they hired some good actors -- among them the incomparable Edmond O'Brien -- and produced this western, directed by long-time Western director Lesley Selander.
I wasn't expecting O'Brien to be convincing as a cowboy, but he is astonishingly good as an ex-cowpoke who is building an express business -- and given a huge oversupply of cattle, he's shipping an awful lot of tallow and hide, all the scrubs are good for. There's a lot more history intelligently explained here than is usual for a B western, the photography is crisp and clean and there are fine supporting actors carrying the roles -- John Millicam is particularly affecting in, for him, a large role.
Selander directs very efficiently -- you can tell that villain Barton Maclane shot his interiors in a block and the action sequences near Lone Pine, where Selander spent most of his professional career are handled to advantage.
The net effect is that everything is much better than a B western, yet the obvious economies make it at best a shaky A. Still, overall it is a superior effort and worthwhile for western fans and a surprisingly unexpected sidetrack for Edmond O'Brien.
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