Steve Sinclair is a world-weary former gunslinger, now living as a peaceful rancher. Things go wrong when his wild younger brother Tony arrives on the scene with his new gun and pending bride and former saloon girl Joan Blake.
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.
In 1878, the shortest trail West through the Arizona territory passed by the foot of Bailey Mountain. Although the shortest, it also was the most dangerous route because Bailey Mountain was the stronghold of a band of renegade Apache, led by Chief Diablito. A group of land surveyors is attacked and massacred by Diablito's renegade Apache. The Indians abduct Mary Carlyle, the daughter of General Carlyle. As a result of this, Major C. E. Breverly, commandant of the nearby cavalry outpost sends a scout to find prospector and Indian guide Ward Kinsman. Kinsman is secretly mining for gold near Bailey Mountain, under the nose of Chief Diablito. At the cavalry outpost, Major Breverly requests Kinsman's assistance in saving Mary Carlyle from the Apache. Mary's sister, Ann Duverall, also demands her sister's immediate rescue but Kinsman, fearing a great loss of troopers in a confrontation with the Apache, refuses. Not being on the army's payroll allows him to refuse assignments. However, he ...Written by
This is pretty standard cavalry outpost versus the Apaches fare, but it's well acted and directed, moves along at a good clip and boasts an intelligent script that develops its stock characters effectively. Robert Taylor is at his best in this kind of stalwart but human role. And the rest of the cast delivers strongly. (Arlene Dahl has great chemistry with both Taylor and John Hodiak, rivals for her affections.)
This was director Sam Wood's last film. The many action scenes are well staged and exciting, although color would have enhanced them. This is an example of big-budget Hollywood westerns from the late 40's and early 50's (many better known than this, e.g., "Red River) which--for some reason--were filmed in black and white.
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