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Behind a narration in the style of Jack Webb on TV's "Dragnet", U.S. Marshal Sam Nelson, posing as Sam Smith, is sent to a gold-boom town in California to learn the identity of three killers. Posing as a gunman and killer, he soon strikes up a friendship with card-sharp Alf Billings after saving him from being lynched when caught cheating in a card game. Billings suggests they become partners as his skill with cards (overlooking the near lynching he just escaped) and Sam's ability with guns should make them a fortune. Sam agrees, hoping that Billings will lead him to the men he is hunting. Billings leads him to Coldwater sheriff William Norris and Ernie Walker, Norris's partner in a saloon and gambling operation, both implicated in the murder case Sam is investigating. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This western was enjoyable to watch and well acted by a cast of good actors. There's a good story line that doesn't just exist as a frame work for a lot of gun fights. The story is fairly well written. The problems start with the setting. This is supposed to be set in 1849 California. Westerns have always has problems with authenticity; but this one is way off the mark. It becomes distracting at times; and takes away from an otherwise good story, and good acting. The environment of the story is almost completely wrong. 1849 California was fairly primitive with many hardships. The town in this story looks like something out of a western set in 1870's Kansas. The wardrobe is wrong for the time. The inside of buildings are wrong for 1849 California. The fire arms are way off; and many other things. But with all that being said; I'd still have to recommend seeing this film It has a certain charm. Henry Morgan and Virginia Grey turn in their usual good performances. Bill Elliott is a little stiff; but is the kind of star that made westerns of this era fun. So inspire of the problems i outlined I still enjoyed this film. I would have given it a lower ranking if it hadn't been for Harry Morgan and Virginia Grey; they were great.
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