Gunfighter "Brazos" Kane lays aside his guns "forever" when he is forced to shoot his best friend, and decides to join another friend, Bob Tyrell, as a cowhand on the Inskip ranch. Upon arriving there he finds the bullet-riddled body of his friend. He carries the body to the Banner ranch, the largest in the territory, and is accused by Banner of murdering Tyrell; Banner orders Deputy Sheriff Bill Yount, who is in Banner's pay, to arrest Kane. But Kane has the sympathy of Banner's daughter, Jane, who notifies Inskip of Kane's plight, and Inskip arrives in time to prevent a lynching. Sheriff Kiscade dismisses the murder charge for lack of evidence. Brazos then sets out to find the killer of his friend. Bess Bannister, Jane's sister, is in love with the Banner ranch foreman, Bard Macky, and knowing that Bard killed Tyrell and that Kane will track him down, then hampers Kane's mission somewhat by pretending to be in love with him.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Good Scott oater. Looks like Columbia popped for an A-budget (for them), what with Technicolor, Sedona locations, and a large, accomplished cast. Seems Brazos (Scott) realizes the tragedy of being the fastest gun around, so he ditches the belt and heads for an old friend's place and what he hopes is a new peaceful life. Of course things don't turn out that way, otherwise we wouldn't have a real western.
The plot's pretty complex, but the many characters are mainly well etched, especially Grapewin's feisty old rancher Inskip. But what really had me going are the, not one, but two leading ladies (Britton & Hart). It's not that they're just attractive, which is expected, it's that they look exactly alike. The only way I could distinguish them was the hairdo's, but those kept changing, so I kept struggling. They're more like identical twins than just movie sisters. Okay, no big deal, but I've never seen such a resemblance in decades of viewing.
Anyway, Scott's near his physical peak and as convincing as ever. While Harry Joe Brown, who would later produce the legendary Ranown western series with Scott, produced this early scenic effort. In fact, some of those red rock spires soaring into the clouds are real visual grabbers. I guess my only reservations are with Cabot's baddie Bard who's too understated to compete effectively with Scott's Brazos, and a rather flat showdown. Nonetheless, it's post-war Columbia Pictures and the great Scott getting off to a fast Western start.
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