Odd little Western that gets off to a snappy start when a man (Matt Dow) is mistaken as a train robber. After the town's sheriff shoots the kid he's riding with, Dow clears his name and ... See full summary »
Odd little Western that gets off to a snappy start when a man (Matt Dow) is mistaken as a train robber. After the town's sheriff shoots the kid he's riding with, Dow clears his name and ends up as the new sheriff. He romances a Swedish woman and settles in to a peaceful life only to find that the boy has a few secrets of his own. Written by
This is the second of three westerns that Cagney made. His first western was "The Oklahoma Kid" (1939) and his third and final one was "Tribute To A Bad Man" (1956). See more »
When Mr. Swenson falls off his buckboard, he lands on a rectangular patch of ground obviously prepared in advance for the stunt. See more »
That's right, I was a jailbird. Six years in a stinkin' cell because I happened to look like another man. Six years out of my life, because men made up their minds too fast - men like you, so righteous, so willing to condemn.
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A rather diverse cast was assembled for this fairly standard western. Cagney plays a loner, traveling towards a town in which he hopes to put down stakes when he runs into hotshot young 'un Derek. The two strike up a tenuous camaraderie and happen upon a passing train whose engineers mistake them for robbers. Soon the townspeople and the sheriff are of the same mind and a posse comes out to shoot Cagney and Derek for a crime they didn't commit! Cagney is grazed in the scuffle, but Derek is near death and has a badly mangled leg. Once the misunderstanding is cleared up, Cagney stays on at a farm on the outskirts of town to look after Derek. The farm, run by old-world Swede Hersholt and his single daughter Lindfors, begins to grow on Cagney and he decides to stay in town despite the mentality of the citizens and eventually rises to Sheriff. Lindfors also begins to grow on Cagney and, after Derek is well enough to limp around, they fall in love. Things get sticky, however, when the local bank is held up and Cagney must confront the same attitude from the townsfolk as he encountered when he met them (and Derek proves to be a less able Deputy than Cagney had hoped.) What is a rather typical western storyline is given a small boost by the skill of the director and the beautiful (and surprisingly lush and varied) New Mexican scenery. Cagney gives a solid performance and is well-matched by the energetic and sometimes intense Derek. (Derek is a full six inches taller than Cagney, so he's hunched over in various scenes and Cagney is elevated in order to play down the height differential. One scene in the jail, however, has Cagney looking downright diminutive in relation to the townsmen who are one small step up, yet tower over him.) The always tan and handsome Derek provides a small hint of the teen angst that director Ray would give full attention to in his later "Rebel Without a Cause". Lindfors is attractive and creative in her thankless role, with perhaps a bit too much hand-wringing and hysteria in her voice. Also, on her fourth husband in real life, she is hardly typecast as the repressed and virginal farm daughter! Folks who've been curious to know who in the world Hersholt was from his yearly humanitarian award given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can get a healthy taste of him here. He brings a dry, but wry and understated quality to the stern, old-fashioned father. Borgnine is effective in a very small role as an outlaw. There's a very corny title song that gets the attention right off the bat, but things turn serious soon after. It's a simple, but diverting western with a mild surprise or two along the way.
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