Sheriff John T. Chance has his hands full after arresting Joe Burdette for murder. He knows that Burdette's brother Nathan, a powerful rancher, will go to any lengths to get him out of jail. Chance's good friend Pat Wheeler offers to help but within 20 minutes of making the offer is gunned down in the street, shot in the back. That leaves his elderly deputy Stumpy, the town drunk Dude - once a deputy and a pretty good shot when he was sober - and a young hand, Colorado, who used to work for Wheeler. Nathan Burdette meanwhile has a couple of dozen men at his disposal. Chance does his best to prepare all the while romancing a pretty gambler who goes by the name of Feathers.
Old Stumpy...no teeth...one leg...but all the rest was guts...
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Did You Know?
Although Harry Carey Jr.
was listed in the credits on-screen, he does not appear in the picture. Carey had a drinking problem at the time. He called director Howard Hawks
"Howard" instead of "Mr. Hawks" on one of his first days on the set, infuriating Hawks. His contract, including his pay and his screen credit, was honored, but his part (a townsman) was cut. See more
At night when Dude and Chance are making their rounds, the camera follows Dude as he walks briefly off the set. You can clearly see a huge concrete pillar he walks past. See more
John T. Chance
Joe, you're under arrest.
Mexican bugle call
Arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin See more