Desert of Lost Men (1951)

53-54 mins | Western | 19 November 1951

Director:

Harry Keller

Cinematographer:

John MacBurnie

Editor:

Harold Minter

Production Designer:

Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Dec 1951.
---
Daily Variety
10 Dec 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Dec 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Dec 51
p. 1154.
Variety
10 Dec 1951.
---
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 November 1951
Production Date:
began late June 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 November 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1405
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
53-54
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15400
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Doctors Jim T. Haynes and Roger Stephens are returning from their duties in the back country of Arizona when they are ambushed by gunmen. U.S. Marshal Allan "Rocky" Lane comes to their aid, and the gunmen give up the chase, but not before Stephens is fatally wounded in the gunfire. In town, Rocky tells Sheriff Skeeter Davis that he is looking for the leader of a group of killers known as The Lost Men, who are believed to be operating from a nearby desert hideout. Skeeter speculates that the increase in shootings around the town of Bear Creek is the work of The Lost Men, as is the intrusion of armed thugs in the doctors' office, presumably to steal funds the doctors have been raising for a new hospital building. Jim tells them that loan money from the county, which Stephens had originally planned to deliver himself, is expected to arrive by stage the following day. To foil future robbery attempts and to assist Rocky with his investigation, the three men plan a trap in which Skeeter announces to the local citizens that the money has been stolen, and Rocky, hiding his identity as a lawman, publicly announces that Jim has a blemished past. As hoped, Rocky is followed by one of the thugs and arranges a meeting with "the boss" of The Lost Men, during which Rocky is to disclose what he knows. When Jim picks up some crutches made at the local furniture shop, owner Carl Landers, who is the gang's leader, pumps him for information about Rocky. Jim evades the questions, which makes Landers suspect that Jim and Rocky are working together ... +


Doctors Jim T. Haynes and Roger Stephens are returning from their duties in the back country of Arizona when they are ambushed by gunmen. U.S. Marshal Allan "Rocky" Lane comes to their aid, and the gunmen give up the chase, but not before Stephens is fatally wounded in the gunfire. In town, Rocky tells Sheriff Skeeter Davis that he is looking for the leader of a group of killers known as The Lost Men, who are believed to be operating from a nearby desert hideout. Skeeter speculates that the increase in shootings around the town of Bear Creek is the work of The Lost Men, as is the intrusion of armed thugs in the doctors' office, presumably to steal funds the doctors have been raising for a new hospital building. Jim tells them that loan money from the county, which Stephens had originally planned to deliver himself, is expected to arrive by stage the following day. To foil future robbery attempts and to assist Rocky with his investigation, the three men plan a trap in which Skeeter announces to the local citizens that the money has been stolen, and Rocky, hiding his identity as a lawman, publicly announces that Jim has a blemished past. As hoped, Rocky is followed by one of the thugs and arranges a meeting with "the boss" of The Lost Men, during which Rocky is to disclose what he knows. When Jim picks up some crutches made at the local furniture shop, owner Carl Landers, who is the gang's leader, pumps him for information about Rocky. Jim evades the questions, which makes Landers suspect that Jim and Rocky are working together to steal the funds. Landers sends his men to intercept Rocky at the appointed meeting time, and during the ensuing fight, the outlaws steal a fake wanted poster identifying Jim as a thief, which Skeeter had made hoping the gang leader would reveal himself to learn more. After the skirmish, Rocky meets with Skeeter, who leaves a note at the doctors' office asking Jim to join them. The nurse, Nan Webster, finds the note, but before she can respond, two gang members, Link Rinter and Frank, show up, claiming that a friend needs medical attention. She directs them to the house where Jim is making a call, then at the sheriff's office, she sees a copy of the fake poster and assumes the sheriff wants to arrest Jim. To buy time, she misdirects the sheriff and Rocky, and rides out to warn Jim, whom she believes to be innocent, and sees Landers' men take him away by force. A gunshot scares her horse, but draws Skeeter and Rocky to the area. She tells them what she saw, and after an unsuccessful search for Jim and his captors, the three make a new plan to lure The Lost Men to the doctors' office. Meanwhile, Jim is stalling Landers, who has given the ultimatum to hand over the money or be turned over to the sheriff. The next morning, Nan makes a public scene claiming that Rocky broke into the office, hoping that The Lost Men will think the money is hidden on the premises. Link sneaks in the back door to look for the stolen money, and is convinced to take Rocky along to the hideout. A posse, which includes Landers, is formed to trail Rocky, but Skeeter explains that Rocky is going to leave a trail of bandages for them to follow, and that the money will arrive on the noon stage. Landers slips away from the group and changes the bandage trail to misdirect the posse. Then, at the hideout, he blows Rocky's cover. With Rocky as hostage, Landers orders Jim to hail the stagecoach driver and redirect him off the main road, so he will be easier prey for their ambush. However, while the gang's attention is focused on the stagecoach, Rocky frees himself, and is able to warn the driver away to a safer place. In the confusion of gunfire, Landers and his men escape with Rocky in pursuit. In town, Landers and Link attempt to retrieve money in Landers' safe, but Rocky fights them. Landers is shot, and after a fistfight, Rocky apprehends Link. Meanwhile, Jim has found the posse, which then captures the rest of the gang. With the mystery of The Lost Men solved and the hospital money safely in town, Rocky says goodbye to Skeeter and a grateful Jim. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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