Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
A trapper and his two partners work as scouts for a remote army fort where they witness an incompetent colonel's decision to throw his small unprepared garrison against Red Cloud's sizable Sioux force.
Veteran bounty-hunter Morg Hickman rides into a town in danger. The sheriff has been killed, and young inexperienced Ben Owens named a temporary replacement until a permanent can be found. Ben wants to be that permanent replacement, so needs to impress the townspeople with his skill. When he finds that Morg was a sheriff for a long time before he became a bounty-hunter, he asks the older man to teach him. Morg thinks that being a sheriff is a foolish goal, but agrees to instruct Ben in handling people, more important to a sheriff than handling a gun. Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is a classic. Henry Fonda as the lone bounty hunter,
Anthony Perkins as the tyro Sheriff. Fonda plays this one close to the chest, minimal dialog, maximum emotional effect. Only Jimmy Stewart underplays a western tough guy as well as Fonda.
We have all the necessary ingredients for a fine screenplay. We have greed, hate, violence, racism, ignorance, and just plain human decency all exposed on screen with an even pace to measure the morals meted out by Fonda's character as the plot unfolds.
You want both to be a character in this story and yet stay as far away from it as possible.
So it fails as a fairy tale, but succeeds in taking our souls for a walk outside our values and qualifies as a fine tale of human endeavor.
See this film, the western context only enhances the plot line.
I highly recommend it.
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