Army veterans, just mustered out of the service, are going to the one of the men's brothers ranch on their way West. Just as they arrive, Indians attack the ranch and kill the brother. The brother was killed because he was using faulty ammunition that did not fire. Buck Devlin, whose brother was killed, musters out of the service with pals John and Wilbur and vows to find the men responsible for the crime.Written by
The summary on IMDb is not correct....there is no massacre of cavalry troops.
The summary on IMDb for the film is actually wrong. There is no cavalry unit that is massacred by Sioux Indians. Instead, the real plot is as follows: Three men muster out of the US Cavalry (Randolph Scott, James Garner and Gordon Jones). When they come to the home of Scott's brother, they find that the Indians are attacking. Because the men defending the ranch (all civilians) had bought defective bullets, Scott's brother is killed. So, Scott and his two ex-cavalry buddies are on their way to Medicine Bend to find out more about the general store that sold the lousy bullets (the bullets were so bad, the powder in some of the shells wouldn't even burn).
On the way their, the men take a swim in a pond--during which time, their horses, money and clothes are stolen! Soon, they get more clothes from a group of nice religious folk (who Scott refers to as "Brethren" and "the Brotherhood") and learn that this group had just been robbed by men posing as Cavalry men--they'd obviously been using the three men's clothes. So, once they get clothes from these Brethren they head to town--dressed in garments that make them look like non-violent religious men.
Once in the town, they discover that there is cliché #4 from westerns--a local rich guy who controls the sheriff and exploits the people. So it's obvious they won't get any help from the law and need to investigate themselves. At the general store, they soon see that they are selling crappy merchandise AND men working for Craig are going to competing stores and terrorizing them. It's obvious that Craig is behind everything, but how to catch him and prove this might be difficult.
Considering that this is a Randolph Scott western, it isn't surprising what follows. However, like almost all of his films of the era, the journey towards this predetermined end is quite pleasant. I am not a huge fan of the genre, but enjoy Scott's films because they often aren't filled with the usual clichés or, when the are, the acting is so seemingly effortless that the films STILL rise above the rest in the genre.
By the way, pay close attention to see a very young Angie Dickenson. It's a bit easy to miss her in her role working for the nice store--she's got long brown hair and it really makes her look very different. Frankly, I liked her this way but apparently the blonde look served her well in later projects, so who am I to say!
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