With the Civil War about to begin, Southern saboteurs attack frontier railroad construction.With the Civil War about to begin, Southern saboteurs attack frontier railroad construction.With the Civil War about to begin, Southern saboteurs attack frontier railroad construction.
The story takes place just prior to the American Civil War. A railroad is being built by the Union Army to supply its western posts. Confederate sympathizers are trying to prevent its completion.
Union engineer John Nelson (Sterling Hayden) is sent out from Washington to oversee the building of the railroad. Construction boss Cal Bruce (Barton MacLane) and his engineer "Smokestack" (Harry Shannon) have been experiencing troubles from unknown sources. It turns out that southern sympathizer Bill Quantrill (Reed Hadley)is behind the problems. Bruce's daughter Barbara (Eve Miller) is the token heroine who provides the love interest for Hayden.
There are many familiar faces to western fans in the supporting cast. Members of Hadley's gang include the likes of Douglas Fowley, Lane Bradford, Myron Healey, Riley Hill and a moustachioed Clayton Moore. James Griffith plays Joe Farley, a railroad guard. Hill was never a major player as a villain in westerns but he could always be singled out in the gang because he was usually clean cut and wore a "hero style" white hat. Moore of course was better known as TV's "The Lone Ranger" and had appeared in many Republic and Columbia serials (on both sides of the law) of the period.
Hayden was a big man, six foot six I believe, and was always more convincing in his screen fights than many of his contemporaries. MacLane although giving a good performance, was usually on the wrong side of the law in his movies and was better suited to brutish villainous roles.
A better than average railroad film.
- Mar 16, 2003