In the years following the Civil War, the town of Abilene, Kansas is poised on the brink of an explosive confrontation. A line has been drawn down the center of the town where the homesteaders and the cattlemen have come to a very uneasy truce. The delicate peace is inadvertantly shattered when a group of new homesteaders lay down their stakes on the cattlemen's side of town, upsetting the delicate balance that had existed thus far and sparking an all-out war between the farmers, who want the land tamed and property lines drawn, and the cowboys, who want the prairies to be open for their cattle to roam.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Film debut of Helen Boyce. NOTE: She was a one-time vaudeville entertainer and owner of the "Coconut Grove" nightclub in Santa Monica, CA. See more »
Although 400 homesteaders build houses and fences out of wood, it is never explained where the wood comes from. The land looks arid, and the only trees seem to be in town, where there is no millwork. See more »
Five years after the end of the Civil War, a thousand-mile cattle trail stretched from the plains of Texas to the railroad depots in Kansas. For ninety grueling days, through dust, heat, flies, loneliness, cowboys pushed Texas cattle northward on the Abilene Trail at an average speed of three quarters of a mile an hour toward Abilene, Kansas where raw-bred Southern beef could be turned into hard, Eastern cash. Abilene was the end of the trail, the end of the ...
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Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
Highly watchable Western about confrontation between cattlemen and homesteaders
The film is set in 1870 , post civil war , in Abilene ( a biblical name meaning city of the plains ), the pattern of the other celebrated cow towns of the Old west . Randolph Scott is the brave sheriff of Abilene along with Edgar Buchanan , they are fighting to stifle the conflicts between homesteaders ( led by a young Lloyd Bridges ) and cattlemen who hire gunfighters ( Jack Lambert ) . Meanwhile he develops a loving triangle between a Saloon girl ( Ann Dvorak ) and a good girl ( Rhonda Fleming ).
The picture gets action Western , shootouts , a love story , musical numbers ( in charge of a gorgeous Anne Dvorak ) and is quite entertaining . It's a medium budget film with good actors , technicians, production values and pleasing results . The film is totally set in Abilene ( Kansas )which was the first of the major railhead cattle towns . From 1867 to 1872 it was a booming depot , shipping some one million Texas Longhorns by railroad to Kansas City and Chicago and meat markets in the East . The place was selected as a terminus for Texas cattle drives in 1867 . Then the long drives began from Texas over the Chisholm trail . At trail's end in Abilene the rowdy,free-spending cowboys attracted saloon keepers, gamblers , brothels and all types of frontier riff-raff , the town became notorious for its lawlessness . Gunmen were hired for a time to keep the peace in Abilene ( in the film the peacemaker results to be Randolph Scott and actually Wild Bill Hickok ) . With the numerous presence of homesteaders the town prospered , stabilized and grew , its lawabiding citizens decided to discourage the troublesome cattle trade with his transient cowboys and early requested the Texas cattlemen to drive their herds elsewhere , which they soon did and Abilene's role as a wild cow town came to an abrupt ending.
The motion picture is directed in sure visual eye by Edwin L. Marin . He realized a variety films of all kind of genres , though especially Western , the best are starred by Scott , all well screen-written ( as Abilene , Canadian Pacific , Cariboo trail , Fighting man of the plains ). In fact his last films were Westerns until his early death at 52 .
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