Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
When Clay Santell stops in the town of Sutterville after having his horse stolen, he is mistaken by townspeople for a murderer named Travers. The townspeople capture Santell, and turn him over to lawman Harry Deckett. Deckett, who is tired of chasing the real Travers, decides to kill Santell and pass him off as Travers. Santell escapes from Deckett, taking lovely Janet Gifford hostage in the process. Janet comes to believe Santell's story, and helps him in his struggle to prove his real identity.Written by
When Clay Santell (Audie Murphy) and Janet Gifford (Felicia Farr) made their escape from Ambrose (Robert Middleton) and his brothers, Clay got away on a second horse he took after paying forty dollars for the first one. But later, on the trail to Paradise, they only have the one horse Janet is riding on.
One horse goes lame there is scene showing this. See more »
Cowboy is mistaken for a dangerous outlaw and has to fight to prove his innocence
By 1960 the Hollywood Western was pretty much headed for television. Only John Wayne was drawing fans to the theaters. Hell Bent for Leather is story that probably would have been better told on an episode of Gunsmoke or Bonanza. As it is, Audie Murphy gives it his all as horse breeder Clay Santell who is misidentified as a shotgun wielding killer named Travers, played by a smirking Jan Merlin. Stephen McNally plays US Marshall Deckett.McNally was really good at playing sleazy types and he plays Deckett as such a type. Deckett knows Sentell isn't Travers but he has decided to pass Santell off as Travers,kill him and claim the reward money and the glory of having taken out Travers, whom he really really doesn't want to actually meet up with.Audie could always be counted upon to deliver a top notch performance and Jan Merlin's psycho gunman is well played,but there are just way too many plot holes in the script, along with some clumsy direction from Sherman. Sherman would,however, go on to better things.While this film isn't on a level with Ride Clear of Diablo or Walk the Proud Land, if you are an Audie Murphy fan definitely look this one up, otherwise there are other oater's that are much better done.
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