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.
Earp agrees to become marshal and establish order in Tombstone in this very romanticized version of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (e.g., Doc is killed by Curley before the actual battle and Earp must do the job alone).
Ex-marshal Chino Bull has hung up his guns until his prospecting partner is shot dead. Chino then takes over as the law in town, forming a friendship with gun-man Mitch Hardin and making enemies of the Logan brothers. When Hardin' girl from the east arrives, he makes her pretty unwelcome - as does his new flame, saloon owner Frenchie. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film is loosely based on the book "Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal" by Stuart N. Lake (Boston, 1931). However, the characters were changed and only certain incidents from the original were used. See more »
If you're thinking that you might have seen Powder River before you would be right. If you saw Frontier Marshal or My Darling Clementine and noted in Powder River's credits that it's derived from a book by Stuart Lake than you'll know the source. Rory Calhoun plays a Wyatt Earp like marshal who has quit law enforcement for prospecting.
But when his partner Frank Ferguson is bushwhacked and robbed of the gold they've panned, Calhoun takes on the marshal's job. He also makes the acquaintance of a pair of outlaw brothers Carl Betz and John Dehner. And a terminally ill and alcoholic doctor Cameron Mitchell who is lightning fast with a six gun.
There's also a bit of Destry Rides Again added to the mix with French speaking saloon owner Corinne Calvet. The good girl from back east who wants to bring Mitchell home to save his life is former Roy Rogers leading lady Penny Edwards.
The best part of Powder River is a nice action gunfight in a foiled stagecoach robbery with Calhoun and Mitchell joining forces. The guys and the stagecoach are on a river ferry with the outlaws firing on them from shore and the ferry cut loose is heading for the rapids. All nicely staged.
If you've seen My Darling Clementine or Frontier Marshal you know how this one comes out. Calhoun made several good westerns in the Fifties and Sixties. But it's Mitchell who has the best role, the Doc Holiday part is always the best one every time this story is retold.
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