Bat Masterson doesn't look for trouble, but he doesn't walk away from it. When an army sergeant in Hays City tries to kill Bat and dies for his trouble, Bat heads for Dodge City where Ed, his brother, is city marshal and a candidate for county sheriff running against the corrupt Regan. Bat buys a share in a local saloon, partnering with the widow Lily. Then, after an ambush, Bat finds himself a candidate for sheriff and the heir to Ed's intentions toward Pauline, a minister's daughter. Can the upright but not always law-abiding gunslinger and saloon owner become a lawman and settle down? Or will trouble keep finding him?Written by
Absent from this film are Wyatt Earp, Masterson's close friend and colleague in Dodge City, and Masterson's dapper clothing, a lifelong trademark, two major flaws in the film. His avoidance of public office doesn't ring true, either. The plot itself takes considerable liberties with the truth. (The television series "Bat Masterson" was closer to the truth in spirit and sometimes in fact.)
However, McCrea's intelligent and introspective portrayal of Masterson is on the mark. The acting of him and the rest of the cast carry the film, which is saddled with uninspired direction.
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