When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ... See full summary »
In 1873, on the Gold Trail, Montana, the mysterious and controlling Dr. Joseph Frail arrives in the small town of Skull Creek with miners in a gold rush. Dr. Frail buys a cabin on the top of a hill and he sees the smalltime thief Rune wounded and chased by a mob that wants to hang him. Dr. Frail helps and heals Rune; but in return, he demands that the young man becomes his bond servant. The alcoholic healer and preacher George Grubb tells to the locals that Dr. Frail, who is an excellent gambler and gunfighter, is a devil and has a mysterious past but nobody gives attention to his words. Soon the stagecoach is robbed by thieves that kill the passengers but the coachman survives and three days later he reaches Skull Creek. He tells that the horses had speed down the hill with a young woman inside the stagecoach. The men organize a pursuit and the rude Frenchy Plante finds the Swedish Elizabeth Mahler burnt and blind. Dr. Frail and Rune take care of her and they learn that Elizabeth and... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It was left ambiguous whether the doctor had killed his unfaithful wife. See more »
Prior to the doctor attending to Elizabeth, he rolls his left sleeve up once and then the same sleeve again in the next shot. See more »
[after he has sold his cabin and its furnishings to Doc Frail, an Indian woman comes out of he cabin]
I'll throw her in for another five dollar gold piece.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail:
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It's still amazing me that excellent films such as "The Hanging Tree" and Arthur Penn's "Four Friends" (to name but two) are NOT made available on DVD -- esp. LONG before such crap as "My Mom's A Werewolf" (to name but one example)!!! Others commenters here have already summarized the story well, and this is one of the very best and detail-memorable of the western genre, esp. when one discounts the epic westerns and certainly one of Cooper's best. Co-star Karl Malden is excellent as always, and this is the time I recall noticing George C. Scott on film, in a small but scenery chewing role. I've not seen this film in at least 10~15 years, sad to say, but I hope to again. MAKE A DVD OF THIS FILM!!!
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