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The Kansan (1943)

Wounded while stopping the James gang from robbing the local bank, a cowboy wakes up in the hospital to find that he's been elected town marshal. He soon comes into conflict with the town ... See full summary »


George Archainbaud


Harold Shumate (screenplay), Frank Gruber (from the story "Peace Marshal")
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Richard Dix ... John Bonniwell
Jane Wyatt ... Eleanor Sager
Albert Dekker ... Steve Barat
Eugene Pallette ... Tom Waggoner
Victor Jory ... Jeff Barat
Robert Armstrong ... Malachy
Beryl Wallace ... Soubrette
Clem Bevans ... Bridge-Tender
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Josh Hudkins
Francis McDonald ... Gil Hatton
Willie Best ... Bones
Douglas Fowley ... Ben Nash
Rod Cameron ... Kelso
Eddy Waller ... Ed Gilbert
Ray Bennett ... Messenger (as Raphael Bennett)


Wounded while stopping the James gang from robbing the local bank, a cowboy wakes up in the hospital to find that he's been elected town marshal. He soon comes into conflict with the town banker, who controls everything in town and is squeezing the townspeople for every penny he can get out of them. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Boisterous! Brawling! Thrilling! Exciting! (original poster) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was one of two dozen Walter Wanger/Harry Sherman/Cinema Guild films originally released by United Artists, re-released theatrically in 1948 by Masterpiece Productions, and ultimately sold by them for US television syndication in 1950. It was first telecast in Los Angeles Sunday 2 April 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Detroit Sunday 7 May 1950 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in New York City Saturday 17 June 1950 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Phoenix Sunday 9 July 1950 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Albuquerque Tuesday 25 July 1950 on KOB (Channel 4), in Cleveland Sunday 30 July 1950 on WXEL (Channel 9), Chicago Monday 21 August 1950 on WENR (Channel 7), in Atlanta Thursday 24 August 1950 on WSB (Channel 8), in Philadelphia Saturday 2 September 1950 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Cincinnati Saturday 9 September 1950 on WKRC (Channel 11), in Pittsburgh Thursday 14 September 1950 on WDTV (Channel 3), in San Francisco Saturday 30 September 1950 on KGO (Channel 7), and in Boston Sunday 8 October 1950 on WNAC (Channel 7), See more »


Josh Hudkins: [to Bonniwell] Marshal, I'm the mayor here. Aren't you overstepping your authority?
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet: Episode 2 (1966) See more »


When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again
Performed by Beryl Wallace
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent Dix Vehicle
31 July 2004 | by Mike-764See all my reviews

In Broken Lance, Kansas, John Bonniwell averts the Jesse James gang from holding up the town bank, but is severely wounded in the process. When he awakes in the hospital, he finds that he has been elected town marshall, with high recommendations from the bank owner and leading citizen, Steve Barat. Bonniwell accepts the job (especially after getting an eyeful of the hotel owner Eleanor Sager) even though he knows that he was only appointed to become a pawn in Barat's scheme to bleed Broken Lance, and the Kansas, dry. Bonniwell's position is put to the test when Barat sues Bonniwell's friend Waggoner for running his cattle without paying the $1 a head toll enforced by Barat. When he sees that Bonniwell isn't going to be controlled so easily, Barat has Bonniwell's enemies go after him followed by an attempt by Barat's gambling brother, Jeff (who seems to be playing both sides of the standoff, while in love with Eleanor). Bonniwell then starts to rid Broken Lance of Barat's influence without losing his life, or anyone else's, in the process. Very good western with an excellent script, direction, characterization, and performances by everyone. Dix is right at home as Bonniwell, even though he seems awkward at times. Jory gives one of his best performances as Jeff, and his characterization is very surprising and different from others in the genre. The movie also contains one of the biggest barroom free for alls in any western, with everyone getting into the fracas. Only flaw was the climax was not as action packed as other sequences in the movie, but still a winner all the way. Rating, based on B westerns (this may count as a B+ however), 9.

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Release Date:

10 September 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meet John Bonniwell See more »

Filming Locations:

Kernville, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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