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.
New ranch owner Frank Madden, half Indian but posing as white, arrives just as an all white jury finds the three white Shipley brothers who lynched three Indians innocent. There is soon trouble between Frank and the Shipleys who are using Frank's land to graze their cattle. When the brother of one of the Indian victims kills a Shipley, Frank is accused and put in jail. The Shipleys then organize a lynch mob and head for the jail. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The novel on which this film is based is set in Georgia rather than Oklahoma and takes place during a later period. The lynching is that of an African-American rather than a Native American's as shown in the film. See more »
Pretty good western if you can get past Guy Madison as part Indian. Hiding his Indian blood so he can own land, Frank Madden (Madison) gets in trouble when one of the vicious Shipley brothers is killed for which he's blamed, and a lynch mob forms.
Actually, there's more plot here than the 70-minute run time can accommodate. Add the two leading lady sub-plots to the Indian sub-plot to the Shipley brothers main plot, and you've got a lot of story complications. The screenplay does a fair job of integrating them, but there's still an overflow.
The real oddity is Michael Pate playing a white guy (Bert Shipley) instead of an Indian in a western where Indians are featured. In fact, he darn near made a career out of playing Native Americans, so I'm wondering if a cast member dropped out at the last minute such that he had to switch roles. Anyway, he nearly steals the film with a lively, colorful performance.
Also, veteran director Sherman manages to inject genuine energy into the several crowd scenes, especially the lynch mob march down the street that had me really worried for the hapless Madden. Then too, the Arizona locations add a scenic touch to a B-western that could have easily cut corners and stayed in LA. All in all, it's a decent, if crowded, little western with some interesting features.
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