In Mexican California, a land feud erupts and murder is committed when rich landowner Don Domingo reneges on an earlier verbal promise made by his father to grant to the tenant Melo family a piece of land.
Yvonne De Carlo,
In 1869, the United States begins a railroad mail service to the West Coast which proves highly tempting to train robbers, in particular an organized gang with one of the mail's supposed guardians in their pay. Prizefighter Steve Davis, a former army intelligence man, is hired to track down the gang and save the Territorial Mail Service. Steve goes undercover in territorial prison, learns Morse Code from a fellow prisoner, breaks jail, infiltrates the gang...and finds time to romance dance-hall singer Mary, who proves to have hidden depths...Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Pretty good Western that gets better as it goes along. Railroad agent Steve Davis (McNally) goes undercover to catch an elaborate gang of train robbers. Along the way, he meets lovely songstress Mary Williams (Smith), but much worse, has to go to prison to establish his outlaw cover. The gang, it turns out, has respectable confederates but we can't be sure who they are.
There're several good surprises, plus some nice touches from director LeBorg— e. g. a wounded Indian Joe trying to hook on the train, the final scene that hits the right notes, a frantic outlaw (Jaeckle) atop an exploding baggage car. Also, that rock formation of the gang's hideout is impressive as heck, with its spindly ladders to the caves at the top. Then there's a splash or two of great blue sky scenery.
The supporting cast is also notable—Begley, DaSilva, Evans and Jaeckle, plus a young, curly-haired James Arness and-- look quickly—Richard Egan as a prison guard. Universal Studio did a number of these Technicolor Westerns at the time, using solid performers and location filming. None that I've seen reach the first rank, but do remain solid entertainment for horse opera fans, including this one.
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