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Clem Rogers, known as "the Hanging Judge" has come to Stone Junction, Kansas in 1889 to preside over the murder trial of Pete Stone, son of town ruler "Big Tom" Stone. Things are made more difficult when Rogers learns that Joe Rile, the man who killed his father, is working for Stone. The latter, in an effort to discredit Rogers, has his henchmen leave the unconscious, beaten and half-dressed Ellie Irish in his hotel room. On the day of the trial the town slowly fills fills with strangers, all in black and all hired to fill the courtroom. Stone tells Rogers that everyone in the courtroom is related to someone Rogers has hanged and is armed, and defies Rogers to send his son to the gallows. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A.C. Lyles gets together a cast of Hollywood veterans for another of his low budget westerns which vary in quality though the veteran players are always giving it their best shot. This one doesn't quite come off mainly because of the near saintliness of the lead, Dale Robertson.
Dale should have been put in for beatification. He plays a former fast gun who still straps his iron on the left side as he did in television's Tales Of Wells Fargo, but who has now studied law and become a judge. In his courtroom the unwritten law about shootouts is not enforced, you get hung. An old pal played by John Agar is awaiting trial for just such a shootout where he provoked a young man into a gunfight. Agar is truly a rat and when you learn the circumstances of the gunfight, you'll agree he ought to be hung.
However Barton MacLane who is Agar's father doesn't see it that way. He tests Robertson in a variety of ways with saloon girl Yvonne DeCarlo, when young deputy Rod Lauren is killed, and finally with imported fast gun Bruce Cabot who happens to be the man who outdrew Robertson's father. Robertson emerges with his halo intact.
William Bendix is in the cast as well as both sheriff and prosecutor and Kent Taylor is Agar's attorney. Law Of The Lawless is tight and compact and if Robertson's character was a little more human, this could have been one of A.C. Lyles best senior citizen westerns.
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