Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
Lt. Frank Hewitt deserts the Union Army to warn former Texas neighbors of impending Indian attacks triggered by Army massacre. He overcomes initial distrust and convinces the homesteaders (all women whose men are away fighting in the Confederate Army) to take refuge in an abandoned mission. He trains them to fight and shoot in anticipation of the attack. The only other man at the mission runs away o save his scalp and ends up leading the Indians back to the mission. Surrounded and outnumbered, the defenders prepare for the final assault..Written by
Enjoyable low budget western turns the genre upside down
In 1864, in a Colorado fort, Lt. Frank Hewitt (Murphy) deserts after failing to talk his commanding officer, Col. Chivington (Ainslie Pryor) out of attacking an Indian village that has only women and children in it. The village is located on Sand Creek. Chivington and his company massacre the inhabitants, and their male survivors swear vengeance. The rest of the film is about Hewitt's race to inform the female settlers and children (the men are away fighting the Civil War) that they are in danger. To complicate matters, the settlers are Confederate, and Hewitt is on the Union side.
Murphy is earnest and sincere in his role, and it's a relief to see him lose his temper in a film for a change. Kathryn Grant made no impression whatsoever, aside from being pretty. As Hannah Lacey, Emerson was the best player in the film. Whether she was ready to kill Hewitt at first sight, or turning thirty some women into soldiers, she was a funny, welcome presence.
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