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21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

The Buttermilk Brothers.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
9 May 2010

In 1957 Randolph Scott was in the middle of producing his best work in the Western genre. A run of seven films in collaboration with director Budd Boetticher and a magnificent career closer with Sam Peckinpah in 1962, would cement Scott's rightful reputation as a genre legend. So where did this oddity come from then? Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend was actually wrapped in 1955, a year which found Scott especially prolific with four other films up for release. This was Scott's last film on his long term Warner Brothers contract and the fact is is that the studio didn't know what to do with the film. This can be put down to a couple of things. Firstly it's shot in black & white, making it the only fully fledged black & whiter he made in the 50s. Secondly is that it's a somewhat bizarre Western as it mixes a revenge driven theme with outright comedy. In the end, after it sitting on the shelf gathering dust for two years, WB execs stuck the film on the bottom rung of 1957 double bills. All of which hopefully explains why the film is little known and rarely thought about in the context of Scott's career.

As another IMDb reviewer has rightly pointed out, the plot synopsis is wrong. Not only on IMDb, but also on TCM and some other on line sites! There is no Sioux massacre of the cavalry in this film. The plot sees Scott as Captain Buck Devlin, who along with two fellow cavalry officers (played by Gordon Jones and James Garner) muster out the army and head for Buck's brothers home. As they arrive they find that the Devlin home is under Indian attack, an attack that sees David Devlin killed on account of him not being able to fire his rifle due to faulty ammunition. Fighting the Indians off, Buck and pals learn of the faulty ammunition and trace it to a store in Medicine Bend. Swearing revenge the men set off to get to the bottom of it.

After a brisk and dramatic start the film quickly takes you by surprise before the three men even arrive at Medicine Bend. A comedy sequence suddenly unfolds and although it's real funny, it throws you a little off kilter. Here's the thing for first time viewers to note, this is a comedy Western, very much so. We then watch as the three men disguise themselves as Quakers as they go undercover in the town. This basically involves them wearing Quaker apparel and saying "thee" in every sentence! Oh and swearing off whiskey and women, something that doesn't prove easy for Garner & Jones' characters! It's great fun that sees Scott play it with tongue firmly in cheek, and even tho the comedy is at nearly every turn, there's also plenty of action to enjoy. There is after all a matter of revenge and some baddies {led by James Craig} to deliver divine retribution too. There's even a delightful tune into the mix as Dani Crayne (very sexy) huskily warbles "Kiss Me Quick," a tune that puts one immediately in mind of "Little Joe, the Wrangler" from Destry Rides Again. While the appearance of a young Angie Dickinson adds further sex appeal to proceedings.

The title is a little misleading since it lends one to expect a Gunfight at the O.K. Corral type movie. It's not of course, but in its own way this is very much a must see for those Western fans who might need a pick me up. Hey it's even got a nice print too. 7/10

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21 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Good minor-key Scott Western of interest for early Garner

Author: Fred Sliman (fs3) from United States
3 January 2001

One of the more minor-key of Randolph Scott's late 50's Westerns, with frequent era collaborator Budd Boetticher nowhere in sight. The more standard filming style is evident, but Scott offers his traditional dependable portrayal, and the film is of interest for the early big-screen work of James Garner and Angie Dickinson. Has some good action scattered throughout.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The summary on IMDb is not correct....there is no massacre of cavalry troops.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
14 March 2010

The summary on IMDb for the film is actually wrong. There is no cavalry unit that is massacred by Sioux Indians. Instead, the real plot is as follows: Three men muster out of the US Cavalry (Randolph Scott, James Garner and Gordon Jones). When they come to the home of Scott's brother, they find that the Indians are attacking. Because the men defending the ranch (all civilians) had bought defective bullets, Scott's brother is killed. So, Scott and his two ex-cavalry buddies are on their way to Medicine Bend to find out more about the general store that sold the lousy bullets (the bullets were so bad, the powder in some of the shells wouldn't even burn).

On the way their, the men take a swim in a pond--during which time, their horses, money and clothes are stolen! Soon, they get more clothes from a group of nice religious folk (who Scott refers to as "Brethren" and "the Brotherhood") and learn that this group had just been robbed by men posing as Cavalry men--they'd obviously been using the three men's clothes. So, once they get clothes from these Brethren they head to town--dressed in garments that make them look like non-violent religious men.

Once in the town, they discover that there is cliché #4 from westerns--a local rich guy who controls the sheriff and exploits the people. So it's obvious they won't get any help from the law and need to investigate themselves. At the general store, they soon see that they are selling crappy merchandise AND men working for Craig are going to competing stores and terrorizing them. It's obvious that Craig is behind everything, but how to catch him and prove this might be difficult.

Considering that this is a Randolph Scott western, it isn't surprising what follows. However, like almost all of his films of the era, the journey towards this predetermined end is quite pleasant. I am not a huge fan of the genre, but enjoy Scott's films because they often aren't filled with the usual clichés or, when the are, the acting is so seemingly effortless that the films STILL rise above the rest in the genre.

By the way, pay close attention to see a very young Angie Dickenson. It's a bit easy to miss her in her role working for the nice store--she's got long brown hair and it really makes her look very different. Frankly, I liked her this way but apparently the blonde look served her well in later projects, so who am I to say!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Bad Ammunition

Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
23 August 2013

Following service in the US Army, western soldier Randolph Scott (as Buck Devlin) heads for his brother's home in Nebraska. Unfortunately, some boisterous Native American Indians are shooting up the place when Mr. Scott arrives. His brother is one of the casualties. After speaking with townspeople, Scott blames the death on bad ammunition. Scott decides to investigate the matter in "Medicine Bend". The pioneer town is controlled by dastardly James Craig (as Ep Clark), who sells shoddy merchandise at exorbitant prices. Responsible for the bad ammunition that killed Scott's brother, Mr. Craig also attempts to put pretty Angie Dickinson (as Priscilla King) and her shop-owner father out of business...

On the way to "Medicine Bend", Scott and his traveling buddies James Garner (as Johnny Maitland) and Gordon Jones (as Wilbur Clegg) stop for a cleansing skinny-dip. While they are carousing around in the water, their clothes are stolen. The three men happen upon a religious gathering and are given Quaker-like clothing. The unfortunate event turns out to help them go undercover as missionaries in "Medicine Bend". However, this means refraining from drinking , smoking and sexual pursuits. Tightly-attired women like Ms. Dickinson and saloon singer Dani Crayne (as Nell Garrison) may prove too tempting to resist. This western with a sense of humor could leave you chuckling with the blameless Indians.

****** Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (5/4/57) Richard L. Bare ~ Randolph Scott, James Craig, Angie Dickinson, James Garner

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

No better business bureau here

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
19 August 2013

In Shoot-Out At Medicine Bend Randolph Scott is cast as a recently mustered out army captain who arrives just in time to atop an Indian raid, but too late to save his brother.

As he sees it the Indians were just doing their thing, but he wants to find out who sold his brother and the other settlers of the community they're building the defective ammunition that left them helpless. The trail leads Scott and his two sidekicks James Garner and Gordon Jones to the town of Medicine Bend.

If ever a town needed a better business bureau it was Medicine Bend. The place is run by James Craig, Myron Healey, and assorted thugs they've hired. They have Mayor Don Beddoe and Sheriff Trevor Bardette intimidated. Usually villains like Craig are usually running a crooked saloon and he does that as well. But Craig has all kinds of interests and he undersells the other merchants with shoddy quality merchandise like the defective ammunition he sold Scott's brother. Honest people like Harry Harvey and daughter Angie Dickinson are being driven out of business through his cut rate 'bargains' and intimidation.

The title lives up to its name, there is a dandy shootout. I liked the film for the fact it has an unusual villain in the form of a merchant. Unusual for westerns that is. Craig's practices are rather up to date when you think about it.

For some reason this film is not out. That's a pity because it's not the greatest of Randolph Scott westerns, but pretty good.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It does what it says on the tin

Author: Martin Bradley ( from Derry, Ireland
14 January 2015

With a title like "Shoot-out at Medicine Bend" you know exactly what you're going to get. This is a thoroughly likable B-Western with Randolph Scott, a young James Garner and Gordon Jones as ex-army buddies trying to find out who robbed them, (when they were doing a bit of skinny-dipping), aka the goodies and James Craig, Myron Healey, John Alderson and sundry others as the baddies. There isn't really much plot; it's really just the good guys vs the bad guys and that's it but it's exciting and quite funny. The females involved are a young Angie Dickinson, cast here as the 'nice' girl and Dani Crayne, the saloon singer. Richard L Bare is the director and he doesn't waste a single shot.

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Good Randolph Scott Oater

Author: zardoz-13 from United States
17 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Prisoners of the Casbah" director Richard L. Bare's "Shoot Out at Medicine Bend" qualifies as an entertaining, lightweight, black & white western with Randolph Scott and James Garner. This fish-out-of-water oater looks like it might have been inspired by the Gary Cooper's Quaker Civil War movie "Friendly Persuasion." Our rough-riding heroes impersonate Quakers after the dastardly villains rob them of everything. This western has the flavor of a vintage Warner Brothers' with Errol Flynn.

This western gets off to an exciting start with Captain Buck Devlin (Randolph Scott), Sergeant John Maitland (James Garner), and Pvt. Wilbur 'Will' Clegg (Gordon Jones), freshly mustered out of the cavalry, showing up at Buck's brother's house as Indians are shooting the place up. It seems that Buck's brother Dan Devlin (Ed Hinton) has been sold defective cartridges for his repeating rifle. The Indians kill Dan because he cannot get his long gun to fire. Buck and company run the Indians off. Dan's neighbors explain how they came to get the faulty ammunition. Buck and his friends decide to ride to Medicine Bend to clear up the skulduggery. Before our heroes reach town, they bathe in a pond, and several stealthy owl hoots steal not only their horses but also their guns, uniforms, and the money that they had taken up from the community. Left with little to wear, the destitute threesome wander into a congregation of Quakers camped out on the prairie. The Brethren explain that they, too, have been robbed by three ruffians in cavalry uniforms. They furnish our heroes with Quaker garments and horses, and Buck and company head off to Medicine Bend. No sooner do they ride into Medicine Bend than they discover the chief culprit is shady entrepreneur Ep Clark (James Craig of "Drums in the Deep South"). Clark stole Buck's horse, and he owns a crooked mercantile store where he sells shoddy goods. He has the town sheriff, the mayor, and most of the townspeople under his thumb, and he acts like a gangster when anybody threatens his business.

Our heroes masquerade as Quakers after they enter Medicine Bend. Buck watches as Clark's henchmen, Rafe Sanders (Myron Healey of "African Manhunt") and Clyde Walters (John Alderson of "Cleopatra"), vandalize King's General Store. They smash eggs, sabotage a canister, and smear black grease on white muslin. Intervening on behalf of the storekeeper, Buck makes his interference appear like a blundering buffoon who gets in the way of Rafe and Clyde, while he picks Rafe's pocket and steals the amount sufficient to replace the damaged goods. Meantime, Buck persuades Maitland and Clegg to go undercover and work at Clark's Pioneer Emporium. Buck approaches Mr. Elam King (Harry Harvey) about helping him contend with Clark and his hooligans. Buck, Maitland, and Clegg undermine Clark's business, and Buck becomes romantically involved with King's pretty daughter Priscilla King (Angie Dickinson of "Rio Bravo") after she catches him trying to clean up his wounds. Rafe tried to set a trap to catch Maitland and Clegg, but Buck warned them off. He falls into the trap, but he manages to escape before Clark and company can catch him red-handed in the act. Instead, Clyde winds up plunging into the deep well hidden beneath the floor of Clark's office. Later, the pioneers that were robbed are privately reimbursed.

Clark discovers the masquerade after saloon songbird Nell Garrison (Dani Janssen of "Written on the Wind") exposes Clegg as an impostor. Sheriff Bob Massey (Trevor Bardette) arrests Maitland and Clegg, but Buck gets away. Clark has Massey stage a kangaroo trial that sentences the sergeant and the private to swing on the gallows. When Nell convinces Massey to release them, Rafe surprises the lawman and kills him. Meanwhile, Clark and his henchmen ambush the wagon train bound for King's General Store. Although Clark waylays the wagon train, Buck manages to save his companions from swinging. Inevitably, Clark and Buck shoot it out in Clark's general store and then swap blows in a rugged fistfight. Clark has Buck subdued and is poised to shoot him down in cold blood when he gets a taste of his own medicine. The cartridges in the rifle don't work, and Buck kills him with a scythe. This tongue-in-cheek western features a solid cast headed by the ever dependable Randolph Scott. James Garner plays second banana and former Green Hornet star Gordon Jones provides the comic relief. Craig makes a stern villain in city slicker's regalia. Harry Lauter and Myron Healey are well cast as Clark's accomplices. Warner Brothers' stock players proliferate in this amusing dust raiser.

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Formula Scott Western!

Author: ( from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Shootout at Medicine Bend" is one of many formula "B" plus westerns turned out by star Randolph Scott in the 1950s. This one, for some reason was shot in black and white, the only Scott western of the decade not shot in color.

Three army buddies, Captain Buck Devlin (Scott), Sgt. John Maitland (James Garner) and Pvt. Wilbur Clegg (Gordon Jones) are returning home after mustering out of the service. They arrive at Devlin's brother's ranch just as it is being attacked by Indians. The brother is killed due to faulty ammunition that fails to work under fire. Devlin and friends set out for the town of Medicine Bend to investigate. Along the way they are robbed of all of their possessions including their clothes.

Coming upon a wagon train of Quaker like people, they are given plain clothes by the group and proceed to the town where they find everything controlled by businessman Ep Clark (James Craig). We learn that Clark and his gang are responsible for robberies of local ranchers including Devlin and his pals.

Maitland and Clegg go to work for Clark under the watchful eye of Rafe Sanders (Myron Healey), Clark's second in command. Devlin meanwhile aligns himself with Clark's competitor Elan King (Harry Harvey) who just happens to have a sweet as apple pie daughter Priscilla (Angie Dickenson). Saloon girl Nell Garrison (Dani Crayne) tries to help out John and Wilbur when they are arrested for the murder of Clark henchman Clyde Walters (John Alderson). Then it gets interesting.

Randolph Scott was nearing the end of a long career, so it was kind of hard to imagining him romancing the young Angie Dickenson even though it's only suggested. The best female part however goes to Crayne who gets to warble a forgettable tune as the good/bad saloon girl.

As with most of Scott's westerns, he was given an excellent supporting cast. In addition to those already mentioned we have Trevor Bardette as the Sheriff, Don Beddoe as the Mayor, Harry Lauter as henchman Briggs, Robert Warwick as Brother Abraham, Ann Doran as Devlin's sister in law and Phil Van Zandt as a street barker all familiar to western fans. Also watch for a brief appearance from Nancy Kulp as a nurse and stuntman Dale Van Sickle as one of the boys.

James Garner was on the brink of stardom as he was about to embark on his long running "Maverick" TV series.

Scott wasn't through yet as he was about to appear in a series of acclaimed Budd Boetticher directed films.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Three soldiers clean up Medicine Bend

Author: msroz from United States
30 July 2016

"Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend" (1957) is a pretty good western. I found it quite entertaining. What made it so? The story is novel. Three soldiers are robbed of everything they have and a stake of jewels and money they've collected on behalf of settlers to buy supplies and rifles for them. That mission transpired when Randolph Scott's brother was killed by rampaging Indians because of defective bullets bought in Medicine Bend. Scott is one of the three soldiers, the other two being James Garner and Gordon Jones, both of whom provide comic relief.

Medicine Bend is run by the corrupt James Craig who has the sheriff (Trevor Bardette), mayor (Don Beddoe) and everyone else under his thumb, assisted by Myron Healey. The everyone else includes Angie Dickinson, who runs a store with her uncle, and Dani Crayne, who sings in the saloon. These beauteous ladies would prefer finding a good man and settling down. Scott and Garner, respectively, are the romantic candidates.

The three soldiers infiltrate the town by posing as members of a religious sect moving through the area. Scott always uses a minimum of violence in this picture to recover what Craig has looted from him and others. He uses his wits to create problems for Craig, stealthily achieving the aim of recovering what he's stolen. Craig is overconfident, overestimates his power and underestimates the problems building up for him. The picture has something of a less than serious tone, what with the trio impersonating peaceful men very unlike themselves. But it's serious at the same time.

I didn't know of the shapely Dani Crayne before seeing this. She's in several movies I've seen, good ones like "Written on the Wind" and "The Unguarded Moment", but she didn't register with me. That was before I began jotting down movie comments and noticing supporting casts more. She resembles Lana Turner and comes across as a strong woman. She's 81 now and has quite the biography, less as an actress and more as a Hollywood personality, having dated many famous actors and having been married to Buddy Greco, David Janssen, Hal Needham and Donalde Crayne. She's known for her quips. She spices this movie, whereas Angie Dickinson's part is more soft-spoken.

The director, Richard Bare, had mainly done shorts before doing a few full-length movies. I thought that his staging here was noticeably good in the action scenes. The action unfolded clearly.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Diverting and routine.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
18 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you're interested in a 1957 Randolph Scott Western, this may be what you're looking for. It's reassuringly routine. There are virtually no surprises. This is a fixed point in a changing and disappointing universe.

Scott and two friends (Garner and Jones) are just mustered out of the US Army and are jumped and robbed outside of the town of Medicine Bend. They adopt the dun clothing of the members of a local religious cult and pose as members of the sect while they investigate the town and try to find the thieves.

They discover that the town is run by one corrupt gang and its leader, Craig, who have stolen everything from migrants passing through on their way to greener pastures. Scott steals it all back, routs the gang, restores the town to a state of probity, and continues on his way West, with Angie Dickinson at his side.

It's interesting to see Scott in masquerade, wearing his "Quaker" hat and saying "thee" and "thou", though never without a slight smirk. There are a couple of incidents of interest too. At the climax, in a mano a mano fist fight with the mastermind -- the kind of fight Scott always wins -- he gets knocked unconscious. That's curious in itself. But then the director explicitly shows us a ripped-open bean sack on the balcony spilling its seeds onto the metal tops of a couple of empty cans and the sound is that of a small hailstorm. It has nothing to do with the plot. The director, Richard Bare, probably indulged his whim to film what looked like a cinematically interesting flow of beans onto metal -- and it nicely breaks up the series of easily predicted actions. Good for him.

In the same fight, the ritual always requires the bad guy to pick up a piece of furniture or something to use as a weapon and play dirty pool. Craig picks up a rifle but it misfires. Then he pulls from the wall a gigantic SCYTHE suitable for use by the Grim Reaper, Father Time, or Chronus himself, and takes a roundhouse swing at Scott's head. Alas, he misses and perishes by the scythe.

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