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
After three years on the run, Jim Guthrie returns with the scar of a rope burn on his neck. In flashback we learn how he was framed for murder but then escaped from the lynch mob just as he was about to be hung. Tired of running, he has returned to find the real killer and the Sheriff has given him just three hours to do it. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
During the gunfight between Guthrie (Dana Andrews) and Sheriff Ben (Stephen Elliot), Guthrie reacts at one point as if he's hit by a bullet to his right shoulder, falling to the ground and grabbing his shoulder in pain. But then he fights Ben one on one and winds up shooting him with no ill effects, and there's no bullet hole or blood in the area of his right shoulder. See more »
Three Hours To Kill casts Dana Andrews as a man on the run for the murder of Richard Webb which he did not do, but for which he was nearly lynched. Andrews has the rope burn scar to prove it.
Four old friends of his who also knew the victim were the ones yelling loudest for the lynching. Andrews zeroes in on them for the answers. There's also saloon girl Dianne Foster who has a thing for Dana and the sister of Richard Webb who was violently opposed to her marrying Andrews who is played by Donna Reed fresh from her Oscar win for From Here To Eternity.
This western plays like a noir mystery even though it's set in the wide open spaces. Andrews is one grim western hero and hardly the role model for a cowboy hero. Still in the end he solves the mystery and he does it when all four of those he seeks are brought into the saloon and compare notes. All could not have been more neatly revealed by Hercule Poirot himself.
One of Dana's best films.
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