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The Plunderers (1960)

 |  Western  |  5 November 1960 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 146 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

When four rowdy cowhands ride into a small town and make trouble, no one seems willing or able to take them on, not even Sam Christy, the toughest man in town. But then there is a murder.

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Title: The Plunderers (1960)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Rondo
...
Ellie Walters
...
Kate Miller, Hotel Owner
...
Sheriff McCauley
Ray Stricklyn ...
Jeb Lucas Tyler
James Westerfield ...
Mike Baron - Saloon Owner
Dee Pollock ...
Davy
Roger Torrey ...
William 'Mule' Thompson
...
Jess Walters, Gen. Store Owner
Harvey Stephens ...
Doc Fuller
Joseph Hamilton ...
Abilene, Barfly
Kenneth Patterson ...
2nd Citizen (as Ken Patterson)
William Challee ...
1st Citizen
Ray Ferrell ...
Billy Miller
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Storyline

Four young cowboys, Jeb, Rondo, Mule and Davy ride into Trail City, Texas figuring on taking over for a while. Rancher Sam Christy, with a paralyzed right arm refuses to get involved against them, and Kate Miller calls him a coward. When Jeb kills the timid Sheriff McCauley, Sam goes to his ranch to get his gun. The boys are waiting for him there, and Ellie Walters goes to his ranch and finds him badly beaten up by Mule. The young Davy, shocked by the killing of the sheriff, quarrels with Jeb. He goes off alone and Sam captures him. Rondo, tries to force his attentions on Ellie, who shoots him when he draws a knife on Sam. The latter kills Mule in a knife fight, and Jeb bursts out of the saloon with two guns blazing. Sam shoots and kills him. The townsmen are for hanging Davy but Sam, realizing the young boy was the victim of a situation he didn't know how to handle---and one that the town should have never let develop---tells him to just go home. Sam and Ella watch as the boy rides ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IN THE LAND THAT WALKS TOUGH AND TALL...A NEW KIND OF SUSPENSE! Suddenly it happens...the cowardly crawl in the dust...the brave are notches on a gun...a town explodes with a scream! See more »

Genres:

Western

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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Plünderer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Jeff Chandler's final Western. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captain Sam - A Phantom.
17 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Plunderers is directed by Joseph Pevney and written by Bob Barbash. It stars Jeff Chandler, John Saxon, Dolores Hart, Marsha Hunt and Jay C. Flippen. Music is by Leonard Rosenman and cinematography by Eugene Polito.

Trail City, and 4 delinquent cowboys ride into town with attitude and carefree abandon. The Trail City residents - spineless, all except one man. One man who considers himself only half a man on account of his disability. That man is Civil War veteran Captain Sam...

War didn't just destroy his arm.

The few critical appraisals and reviews that exist for The Plunderers are keen to associate the picture with other notable pictures released previously, which in this instance is something of a curse when they happen to be well revered classics. Yet this is no knock off, it has its own identity. The four young delinquents here are not dashing dandy types, the makers make every effort to put their failings as human beings up at the front of the portrayals. These are young men, out of their depth, even spineless, but of course the town doesn't know this as they are too busy cowering in the shadows.

The messages are obvious in the play, but Pevney doesn't use his sledgehammer to enforce those parts of the narrative. It's perhaps no surprise how things pan out with Chandler's embittered war veteran, as he wrestles with both his conscience and his disability, but Pevney has a good knack for slow burning the atmosphere to bring rewards for film's finale. Chandler, in his last Western, is suitably broody, Hunt and Hart are beauties to behold, while of the bad boys it's Saxon as a diabolical Mexican - with scary eyebrows - and the only one who is old enough to shave, who strikes the highest villain chords.

Elsewhere there's a great musical score provided by double Academy Award Winner Rosenman, very much akin to something that the moody Twilight Zone episodes would use. It also at times has the feel of the score Alan Silvestri would rustle up for Predator some 27 years later. Polito's photography is crisp, where in conjunction with Pevney's camera angles and lighting techniques keeps the claustrophobia factor high in this one location setting.

Crackerjack! A dandy of a black and white Oater waiting to be discovered by more Western fans. It's a keeper for sure. 8/10


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