This vigorous outdoor melodrama – presented in “Naturama” – is about a roving hombre who picks up a gun in the desert, becomes a dead-shot and rids a small cattle town of a ruthless dictatorship. There is an intriguing mystery element, and this subtly buttresses conventional romance and rough stuff.
The well-known players are more than equal to their tasks, and the climax is rugged, while “Naturama” gives the finished article showman-like airs.
Fran Dare (Audrey Totter), a comely and forthright saloon owner, opposes the powerful Corley family, which controls the cattle town of Dutch Flat.
Wandering cowpoke “Maybe” Smith” (Macdonald Carey) finds a gun near a desert water hole and it proves most effective when he becomes involved in a fight with a couple of men, one of them a Corley.
Fran thinks Smith is a notorious bandit and – aided by admirer Mike Ferris (Warren Stevens) – uses Smith in her war against the Corleys.
Fran acquires a lust for power, but Smith curbs her. Ferris attempts to ambush Smith, but the latter turns the tables on him and eliminates the Corleys. He then hands the now legendary gun over to ageing Sheriff Jim Jackson (James Gleason), who is badly in need of confidence, before he and Fran settle down.
Audrey Totter displays plenty of fire and spirit as Fran, Macdonald Carey keeps his enemies and the audience guessing as quick-on-the-draw Smith, and James Craig, Julian Burton and Carl Yorke have a field day as the evil Corleys.
The shooting and fighting, interlaced by frank love interest, are realistic, and there is a catchy signature tune for good measure.
‘Maybe’ Smith/Scott Yancey
Sheriff Jim Jackson
Mrs Pinch Corley
Deputy Sheriff Burt Burton
Albert C Gannaway