The peace-loving owner of a general store, who became a town hero when he luckily killed the leader of a gang of bank robbers, is deserted by the townspeople who fear the threatened return of the vengeful bandits.
Alfred L. Werker
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.
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Having cleaned up Tombstone, marshal Frame Johnson quits after an attempted lynching, and hopes to settle down on a ranch near Cottonwood with his sweetheart Jeannie. Before he can do so, it looks like he may have to clean up Cottonwood too. But how great a sacrifice will he make for law and order? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Frame Johnson mentions wanting to live to be an old man. With the exception of Wally Cassell, who lived to age 103, Ronald Reagan lived to an older age (93) than the rest of the male actors. See more »
[The town undertaker, Denver Cahoon, is trying to drum up business]
Where's the Durango Kid?
You mean to say you brought him back alive?
Well, for the time being.
Now, we've been friends for a long time, Frame. But since you cleaned up this town, I can't hardly make a living. How do you expect me to make any money off of him?
Don't worry about it friend, you won't have to wait long.
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Even with technicolor and location shooting, the remake of the classic western Law and Order with Walter Huston pales in comparison. Ronald Reagan just isn't Walter Huston, he doesn't create the singleminded purpose of Huston's Frame Johnson. Reagan's forte is affability, it doesn't translate well here.
Frame Johnson and his two brothers, played by Alex Nicol and Russell Johnson, leave Tombstone where Johnson is marshal because Johnson is tired of it. They go to Contention, but the problems of lawlessness are rampant there. Corrupt sheriff Barry Kelley and town boss Preston Foster pretty much run things their way. The decent citizens call on Reagan and the brothers to help out. Brother Alex Nicol does and is killed. You can figure the rest out.
The film does have the always lovely presence of Dorothy Malone, three years away from her Oscar in Written on the Wind. Dorothy was first noticed as the bookstore proprietess who catches Humphrey Bogart's eye in The Big Sleep. She did mostly westerns after that, usually as the nice girl in gingham that the hero gets. Good thing someone saw she had more going for her than that. Here she's a reluctant saloon owner, her old man left her the place and she runs it to earn a living. Girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do.
And of course you would have to be blind and ignorant of any kind of western history not to notice the obvious parallels between this film and any and all films with Wyatt Earp as the central character.
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