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HISTORY

HR news items add Bud Osborne and Lyle Talbot to the cast, but they did not appear in the final film. Modern sources include actors Ray Jones, Ed Cassidy, Ted Mapes and John Hart in the ... More Less

HR news items add Bud Osborne and Lyle Talbot to the cast, but they did not appear in the final film. Modern sources include actors Ray Jones, Ed Cassidy, Ted Mapes and John Hart in the cast. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 Mar 1952.
---
Daily Variety
21 Feb 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Mar 52
p. 1254.
Variety
27 Feb 52
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 February 1952
Production Date:
8 November--mid November 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 February 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1578
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
sepia
Duration(in mins):
68
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15674
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Waco, Texas, newly hired stage driver Matt Boone enters a poker game. When local rancher Bull Clark cheats at the game and Matt accuses him, Clark pulls a gun and fast-drawing Matt is forced to shoot him. Faced with the certainty of an unfair trial arranged by Clark's cronies, Matt flees town. Businessmen William Richards and Farley watch as the posse that went after Matt comes back empty-handed, agreeing that their corrupt town has once again turned on an innocent man. Over the next weeks, Matt narrowly escapes from every town in the county. When he stumbles onto a secret path in the hills, however, he is caught by outlaw Lou Garcia and brought back to his gang's hideout. Gang leader John Curly Ivers is convinced that Matt is one of Clark's men, and prepares to shoot him. Matt announces that he has shot Clark, and when no one believes that he could outdraw the rancher, Matt proves his talent by besting Garcia. With no other choice, Matt then joins the gang. That night, Curly reveals that most of the men in the gang, including himself, were similarly forced into becoming outlaws by corrupt lawmen who chased them into hiding. They spend the next month robbing banks across Texas, and during a job in Pecos, hot-headed Garcia ignores Curly's orders never to shoot without cause. After Garcia kills a banker, the sheriff shoots Matt in the leg and captures him. Matt recovers in jail, only to discover that Farley and Richards have paid a fee to have him tried for murder in Waco. Although Matt expects a crooked trial, Richards and Farley testify on his behalf and he ... +


In Waco, Texas, newly hired stage driver Matt Boone enters a poker game. When local rancher Bull Clark cheats at the game and Matt accuses him, Clark pulls a gun and fast-drawing Matt is forced to shoot him. Faced with the certainty of an unfair trial arranged by Clark's cronies, Matt flees town. Businessmen William Richards and Farley watch as the posse that went after Matt comes back empty-handed, agreeing that their corrupt town has once again turned on an innocent man. Over the next weeks, Matt narrowly escapes from every town in the county. When he stumbles onto a secret path in the hills, however, he is caught by outlaw Lou Garcia and brought back to his gang's hideout. Gang leader John Curly Ivers is convinced that Matt is one of Clark's men, and prepares to shoot him. Matt announces that he has shot Clark, and when no one believes that he could outdraw the rancher, Matt proves his talent by besting Garcia. With no other choice, Matt then joins the gang. That night, Curly reveals that most of the men in the gang, including himself, were similarly forced into becoming outlaws by corrupt lawmen who chased them into hiding. They spend the next month robbing banks across Texas, and during a job in Pecos, hot-headed Garcia ignores Curly's orders never to shoot without cause. After Garcia kills a banker, the sheriff shoots Matt in the leg and captures him. Matt recovers in jail, only to discover that Farley and Richards have paid a fee to have him tried for murder in Waco. Although Matt expects a crooked trial, Richards and Farley testify on his behalf and he is acquitted. After the trial, however, the two men, hoping Matt's quick draw will discourage outlaws from entering the town, force him to take over as sheriff in order to avoid being tried for robbery in other counties. In the saloon that night, Clark's daughter Kathy, who now runs his ranch, vows to see Matt jailed again. Curly then summons Matt to a meeting in the hills. Although Garcia views Matt's position as an open invitation to wreak havoc in Waco, Curly agrees with Matt that the sheriff cannot be on both sides of the law simultaneously, and vows to keep the gang out of Waco. Weeks later, a poker game sours when visiting outlaw Crawford kills a fellow player. Matt, realizing no one will testify against Crawford as long as his murderous partner, Ace Logan, is in town, arrests Crawford and gives Logan one hour to leave. Logan refuses to leave, forcing Matt to outdraw and kill him, after which Crawford is arrested and hanged. Kathy still mistrusts Matt and informs him that she is traveling to the governor to have Matt fired. Just as she leaves on the stage, however, Garcia, hiding out in the hills above the city, decides to rob the stage. Discovering Kathy aboard, he kidnaps her, and when Matt hears, he goes alone to the hideout. There, Matt takes Garcia's gun and warns him to leave town. When he then escorts Kathy home, she thanks him and apologizes. Soon after, Texas Ranger Carmuty arrives with Curly as his prisoner and asks Matt to hold him for his trial. From the cell, Curly explains to Matt that Garcia killed another man during a robbery, after which Curly was captured and Garcia escaped, vowing to kill Matt before his own inevitable capture. Matt removes his star and frees Curly, declaring his intent to rid the world of Garcia. After he leaves, however, Curly shuts himself back in the cell and informs Kathy that he sent Matt in the wrong direction in order to keep him distracted until dark, when Garcia is sure to return to town and be trapped by the Rangers. Just as Curly has predicted, Garcia enters the jail at sundown and, although Curly tries to shoot him, Garcia kills the older man. Matt returns in time to hear the shot and kill Garcia in a shootout. Before he dies, Curly hands the sheriff's star back to Matt. Weeks later, children play in the safe streets of Waco as Kathy heads to the sheriff's office to visit her new boyfriend. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.