A boy haunted by nightmares about the night his entire family was murdered is brought up by a neighboring family in the 1880s. He falls for his lovely adoptive sister but his nasty adoptive brother and mysterious uncle want him dead.
A stranger comes to town looking for his estranged wife. He finds her running the local girls. He also finds a town and sheriff afraid of their own shadow, scared of a landowner they never see who rules through his rowdy sidekicks. The stranger is a town tamer by trade, and he accepts a $500 commission to sort things out.Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Mitchum's character is great...the rest of them, however, make little sense.
Robert Mitchum is excellent in this film...so much so you wish he'd made more westerns. However, it's not among his most famous films because of the poor writing. Apart from Mitchum's character, most of the rest of the folks in the movie simply make little sense.
When the story begins, a town is being controlled by a guy intent on having his own way. He has a gang of gunmen and uses intimidation and a very weak sheriff to make the townsfolk tow the line. However, when a so-called 'town tamer' (Mitchum) comes to this crappy town, he offers to rid the town of lawlessness...provided they leave it entirely to him and don't question his methods. Surprisingly, this did NOT mean the guy running roughshod over the people's rights. Instead, he acted very deliberately to strategically rid the town of the menace.
What annoyed me so much about the film were the other characters. The town fathers almost constantly questioned the town tamer's methods and almost immediately started trying to undermine him. Why? I have no idea. And, there's one guy in town who has guts...then why does he have to ALWAYS run around half-cocked and creating trouble for himself?! And, why is there a hooker with a heart of gold (a bad cliché, I know) who loves the town tamer yet inexplicably does everything she can to drive him away from her. None of it makes sense and it's a darn shame since Mitchum is great in this one.
By the way, keep a close eye on the 'ladies of ill repute' in the film. One of them is Angie Dickenson in a pre-star role and you have to look carefully to see her.
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