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Tim is the boss of a trail-herding crew consisting of Kentucky, a cook who plays the guitar, Joe, and Marty, a young, impressionable cowhand who longs for the glamorous life of a gunfighter. While the four cowhands sing around the campfire, a night-riding gunfighter named Johnny Laredo happens upon their camp, and joins them for a cup of coffee. He then rides on, leaving Marty wishing he could go with him. In the saloon in Bracketville Johnny Laredo is accosted at the bar by a drunken, young cowboy, Billy Joe. Roxy, the saloon singer, shames Billy Joe by calling him a boy, and in an effort to prove himself a man he draws on Laredo. Laredo is faster and kills him but Laredo's life is immediately changed as he is revolted at what he had to do. He attends the boy's funeral where the service is preached and a hymn sung by the circuit-riding Preacher. Laredo rides back to the camp of the trail herders and joins them, knowing his influence can sway Marty away from the life of a gunfighter. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The Night Rider was the pilot episode for a rejected anthology series entitled "Gallaway House", awkwardly bookended with a Mr. Gallaway greeting and saying goodbye to patrons in his old west playhouse.
Whether it was a western or country music themed show, I'm not sure, but it did see release as an added attraction in predominantly southern drive-ins.
The meat of the program is a very low budget but excellent and atmospheric vehicle for the man in black, who portrays Johnny Laredo, a sullen and haunted gunslinger (reminiscent of Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter) traveling by night in order to avoid his many enemies.
Also on hand are country music legend Merle Travis (who also sings and plays) and 1940's B-western star Eddie Dean.
Basically, the plot is a dramatic retelling of Cash's hit song "Don't Take Your Guns To Town", ending with Johnny singing it around the campfire with Merle and Eddie.
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