30 user 19 critic

Springfield Rifle (1952)

Approved | | Western | 25 October 1952 (USA)
Major Lex Kearney becomes the North's first counterespionage agent as he tries to discover who's behind the theft of Union cavalry horses in Colorado during the Civil War.


André De Toth (as Andre DeToth)


Charles Marquis Warren (screenplay), Frank Davis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Maj. Alex 'Lex' Kearney
Phyllis Thaxter ... Erin Kearney
David Brian ... Austin McCool
Paul Kelly ... Lt. Col John Hudson
Philip Carey ... Capt. Edward Tennick
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Pete Elm (as Lon Chaney)
James Millican ... Matthew Quint
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Sgt. Snow
Alan Hale Jr. ... Mizzell
Martin Milner ... Pvt. Olie Larsen
Wilton Graff ... Col. George Sharpe


Major Lex Kearney, dishonorably discharged from the army for cowardice in battle, has actually volunteered to go undercover to try to prevent raids against shipments of horses desperately needed for the Union war effort. Falling in with the gang of jayhawkers and Confederate soldiers who have been conducting the raids, he gradually gains their trust and is put in a position where he can discover who has been giving them secret information revealing the routes of the horse shipments. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Gun... The Girl... They Made One Man The Equal Of Five! See more »




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Did You Know?


Released the same year as Gary Cooper's most famous Western "High Noon (1952)," which also starred Lon Chaney Jr. in a secondary role. See more »


As they are unstrapping the rifles from the wagon section before attacking the raiders, Major Kearney says, "Sgt. Snow, Lieutenant, come with me." Then his mouth keeps moving but no dialog is heard. See more »


Col. George Sharpe: Just before I left Washington, Halleck gave me the latest high command opinion on organizing a group like ours. They laughed at the general. Said the word "counterespionage" wasn't even in the dictionary. It seemed ridiculous to try to create something that couldn't even be defined. Well, we're defining it for him and in great big capital letters!
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Remade as Cheyenne: Test of Courage (1957) See more »

User Reviews

4 out of 5 action rating
19 November 2012 | by scheelj1See all my reviews

See it- This is a diamond in the rough. It is relatively unknown but a must-see for Gary Cooper fans. Cooper plays his usual character of a man on a mission to redeem himself, but this is not a typical western. Exciting from start to finish, it's the story of the inception of counterintelligence used by the Union in the Civil War. It is not necessarily James Bond with a cowboy hat. It is still very much a western, and a refreshingly good Civil War movie for a change. Movie buffs will also get a kick out of a young Fess Parker. Full of twists and lots of battle scenes, it's a good old-fashioned, fun movie. 4 action rating

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Release Date:

25 October 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Springfield Rifle See more »

Filming Locations:

Mount Whitney, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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