Army veterans, just mustered out of the service, are going to the one of the men's brothers ranch on their way West. Just as they arrive, Indians attack the ranch and kill the brother. The brother was killed because he was using faulty ammunition that did not fire. Buck Devlin, whose brother was killed, musters out of the service with pals John and Wilbur and vows to find the men responsible for the crime.Written by
"Shootout at Medicine Band"--the title shootout of which doesn't occur until the film's almost over--is a flat, dull, by-the-numbers western and Scott's last for Warner Brothers, where he made some of his best ones. Scott seems to have some idea of what a dog this picture is, as it's plain to see that his heart isn't in it and he basically sleepwalks his way through it. Can't blame him, though. Even a supporting cast of familiar western faces--Trevor Bardette, Harry Lauter, Harry Harvey, among others--can't make up for the inept direction, hackneyed and predictable script and feeble attempts at comic relief in the form of Gordon Jones, a good character actor who does much better in actual comedies ("The Abbott & Costello Show", "My Sister Eileen", "McLintock", among others) and is badly miscast. James Garner and Angie Dickinson do well enough in early roles, but while blonde dance-hall girl Dani Crayne--better known later on as the widow of David Janssen--is absolutely gorgeous, she's not much of an actress, which doesn't really matter since she's not given much to do except look great (which she does well), warble a song (which she doesn't do well) and wind up with James Garner.
All in all, this is one of Scott's lesser--much lesser--westerns and worth a look only if you're a Randolph Scott fan and have never seen it before. That's why I watched it, and I was sadly disappointed at its low quality. If you're a Scott fan you no doubt will be, too.
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