In the sparsely populated town of Arborville, California, rides a lone stranger.His name is Joe Dakota and he's looking for an old friend whom he calls The Old Indian.The townsfolk claim the Old Indian had packed up and left town but Joe doubts it.Heading for the old man's farm Joe notices a group of men working on a new oil rig dug right on The Old Indian's property.When Joe starts asking questions about his old friend,the men either clam up or state that the old Indian has sold his land and left town.However,Joe Dakota knew his friend well and is sure that his friend wouldn't have sold his land.Joe decides to stick around and investigate further, despite protests from the townsfolk who want to see the back of Joe.Amid threats,intimidation and lies Joe makes one new friend, Miss Jody Weaver, who is willing to shed some light on The Old Indian's fate. Nevertheless, town baddie Cal Moore, who claims to have purchased The Old Indian's land, is stirring the townsfolk against Joe Dakota.Written by
TV's Range Rider tried his hand at big screen westerns and this one, Joe Dakota is one of them. Sad to say though that Jock Mahoney came along a bit too late to be a big screen cowboy hero. And the film while good is not anything you wouldn't see as a Gunsmoke episode.
The plot is considerably borrowed from MGM's Bad Day At Black Rock, but its hero is a soft spoken Tom Destry like character. Jock Mahoney is in the title role and he comes to town looking for someone the locals only knew as 'The Old Indian'. He's disappeared now and a bunch of the locals under the supervision of town tough Charles McGraw are drilling an oil well on the Old Indian's land.
Only it's not his land, it's Mahoney's land which 'the old Indian' was squatting on for Mahoney. Mahoney starts investigating, start asking questions and pretty soon the town is riled. Something McGraw hopes to use when the time comes.
Mahoney does make a good cowboy hero, born a little too late to have made a career on the big screen. I remember him well as the Range Rider during my childhood years. As for 'the Old Indian' and McGraw if you've seen Bad Day At Black Rock you know how this one comes out.
Such fine folks as Luana Patten, Barbara Lawrence, Paul Birch, Claude Akins and Lee Van Cleef fill out the cast. Sad Jock Mahoney came along too late to be a big screen cowboy hero.
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