After serving a five year prison sentence for allowing his men to destroy a town in a drunken spree, a trail boss is hired by the same town's leading citizen to drive their cattle to Fort ... See full summary »
Sheriff Lane Dakota captures robbery-murder suspect Greiner just as the latter is wounded in an Apache ambush. At remote outpost Apache River, Lane and his prisoner spend the night with ... See full summary »
Virgil Renchler owns most of the town providing a thriving economy. When his men go too far and kill one of his migrant workmen, the sheriff goes after him even if it means his job and everyone else's.
In the sparsely populated town of Arborville, California, rides a lone stranger.His name is Joe Dakota and he's looking for an old friend whom he calls The Old Indian.The townsfolk claim the Old Indian had packed up and left town but Joe doubts it.Heading for the old man's farm Joe notices a group of men working on a new oil rig dug right on The Old Indian's property.When Joe starts asking questions about his old friend,the men either clam up or state that the old Indian has sold his land and left town.However,Joe Dakota knew his friend well and is sure that his friend wouldn't have sold his land.Joe decides to stick around and investigate further, despite protests from the townsfolk who want to see the back of Joe.Amid threats,intimidation and lies Joe makes one new friend, Miss Jody Weaver, who is willing to shed some light on The Old Indian's fate. Nevertheless, town baddie Cal Moore, who claims to have purchased The Old Indian's land, is stirring the townsfolk against Joe Dakota. Written by
"Joe Dakota" (1957) is yet another fine adult psychological western, built around an intelligent story and screenplay that actor William Talman co-wrote. Hollywood's golden age of westerns must cover the fifties, because there are so many great movies made in that period. This may not be great, but it's sure solid and satisfying; and hero Mahoney never shoots a gun. There's one rifle shot off but the story is pretty much devoid of shooting and shootouts. It's much more a detective story in which Mahoney looks into the disappearance of an old Indian with whom he was very close. Oil on the Indian's land is motivating wildcatter Charles McGraw to involve the inhabitants of a small town to take over the property and bring in a well. Mahoney plays it in the quiet but strong and rugged way of a Cooper, a Mitchum and a Ladd; with perhaps a somewhat less severe or stern countenance.
The cast is good too. Paul Birch is father to Barbara Lawrence and Luana Patten. Lawrence and McGraw are close. Claude Akins and Lee Van Cleef are two tough brothers. Anthony Caruso is a voice of reason and conscience.
The westerns are not all this good, but more are than I ever saw in my movie-going youth or on re-runs on TV. The DVD age is an eye-opener.
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