Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.
Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
This movie is based on a true story as written in A.P. Scotland's autobiography "The London Cage". The plot has greatly exaggerated the actual events of A.P. Scotland's experiences, including the addition of a fictional love interest.
John Sturges, later to direct The Magnificent Seven and Bad Day at Black Rock, does extremely well with this little sleeper about modern day westerners hunting for a lost gold caravan in the California desert. William Bishop isn't bad as the honest murder fugitive, and John Ireland and Arthur Kennedy are strong as usual as a couple of not-very-ethical types. Randolph Scott gets to play some interesting notes here as a horse rancher caught up in the hunt, and the supporting parts are all well played. The sandstorm in the last act is really terrifically exciting, and speaking as one who's filmed during a sandstorm, it's hard to believe the stars put up with filming such a long sequence in those conditions. My hat's off to them and to Sturges for a fine little movie, written by Alan Le May (of The Searchers and The Unforgiven fame).
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