In 1886, the gunman and gambler Tom Early returns to his homeland to settle down, but he is rejected by his community. He rides to his farm, where he finds that his wife Alice has recently died and his son Tom Early Jr., who disagrees with taking up arms, is working alone. The next morning, Tom rides into the town to buy supplies and sees Sam, the grocer, humiliating his employee Jo. At the same time the cattle lord Grimsell arrives in town with two gunfighters, Gunn and Blondie, and tells the Preacher that he will be crossing 20,000 head of cattle through their lands and their town. Although the preacher tries to explain that the people own the land, Grimsell is not interested in their rights. When Blondie sees Tom Early, he draws his gun but is shot by Tom, in self defense, and kills the gunman. He then invites Jo to work on the farm. While the Preacher wants to send an emissary to Laramie to bring the law to his town, Grimsell summons more than thirty gunfighters to work for him. ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stewart Granger as gunfighter Tom Early rides back into his home town tired of life on the trail. He'd like to settle down with his wife and kid. A lot like Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter. But his wife is dead and his kid is sullen and resentful.
There's a cattle baron played by James Gregory who's looking to drive a herd through the valley where Granger's and other ranches are. If he needs to Granger is more than willing to lend his gun in defense of the valley like Alan Ladd. But the others want to try it peaceful.
Granger and his kid played by Steve Rowland also have Rhonda Fleming living with them now as a housekeeper. Another reviewer likened that to Rachel and the Stranger, but in that one Loretta Young was forced by convention to marry Bill Holden.
So we've got parts of three previous films and I probably could think of more. Yet it's three good films and while this one isn't great, it's enjoyable.
One theme that was thrown in there for reasons I don't understand. At one point Steve Rowland, feeling his teenage oats, tries to take advantage of Rhonda Fleming. She stops his advances and there's no more made of it. I'm not sure why that was included in the film, since there was no confrontation with the father over Fleming.
Two other key roles are Arch Johnson as Gregory's hired gun who's on his own mission against Granger. And Chill Wills plays the town preacher. The town is too small to have any kind of organized governing body, so the preacher is the unofficial town political as well as moral leader. Theocracy in the old west.
Chill Wills also sings in this film. During a scene at his unfinished church he leads the congregation in When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. Chill Wills was a singer in fact before he became a character actor. His screen debut was in Bing Crosby's first Anything Goes as part of the Avalon Boys Trio.
Not a great western, but a mix of a few films to create a good afternoon's entertainment.
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