Johnny Yuma, played by Nick Adams, heads home to Texas a couple a years after the end of the US civil war. He finds that the town he left, is not the town he is returning to. He discovers that his father, who had been the town sheriff is dead. The town deputy, Strother Martin, is now the town drunk and the town is being ran by a gang of gunmen.
This gang is being led by Dan Blocker in a pre-BONANZA role. Blocker and his henchmen are running everything in town as well as the local mine. Anyone who disagrees with Blocker, has a habit of showing up with several un-needed bullet holes.
Jeanette Nolan and Harry Bartell play Adams' aunt and uncle. They tell Adams to saddle up and leave town and not get involved. Needless to say Adams does not listen to the advice. He is soon in a fist-fight with Blocker gang member, Richard Bakalyan.
This soon leads to further trouble for Adams. He wants revenge for his father's murder by the gang. No one in the town however will stand up to Blocker, so Adams decides to force the issue. He makes himself a black powder hand grenade and fires it into the saloon Blocker and his boys use as a headquarters. He then blasts the gunmen with a sawed off shotgun as the survivors stagger outside.
The townsfolk thank Adams but he wants nothing to do with them. Adams just saddles up and heads out to ride the west.
The rest of the cast includes, John Carradine, Al Foster, Ian MacDonald, James Chandler and Ed Schaff.
The director was Irvin Kershner. Kershner was best known for the feature films, , STAKEOUT ON DOPE STREET, HOODLUM PRIEST, FACE IN THE RAIN, THE Film-FLAM MAN, RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE, THE EYES OF LAURA MARS and of course, STAR WARS: EPISODE V- THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
The d of p was seven time Oscar nominated and one time winner, Ernest Laszlo. His work included films such as, TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST, COVER UP, MANHANDLED, IMPACT, DOA, the remake of M, THE WELL, STALAG 17, VERA CRUZ, BANDIDO, THE BIG KNIFE, TEN SECONDS TO HELL, JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBURG and AIRPORT. (B/W)