Cast & Crew
Rustlers Sam Wellman, Jack Marlin and Lou Banks have stolen 500 horses from local ranchers and are hiding them in Baxter Canyon until they sell them to the Army at inflated prices, using forged bills of sale. Cowboy Whip Wilson, meanwhile, arrives at the Mercantile Company store in a nearby town, and witnesses homesteader Texas Milburn being swindled out his savings by shifty gambler Hemingway. Whip orders Hemingway to give the money back, but Hemingway resists and Whip pummels him to the ground. As Whip returns the money, Tex's wife Ruth explains that she and Tex need all the money to fix up an abandoned homestead they received from the government. Just then, quick-tempered Alice Long, who is standing in for her ill father, the sheriff, arrives at the store to address the commotion. Alice is suspicious of Whip and tells him to get out of town, but when he asks for directions to his friend's, local rancher Jim Bannon's place, Alice apologizes for her behavior. Later at the Bannon ranch, Jim tells Whip that most of his herd has been stolen and he cannot meet his Army contract, adding that most of the local ranchers are in the same situation. Whip explains that the Army has sent him to investigate and enlists Jim to help him find the rustlers. Meanwhile Tex and Ruth unload their wagon at the new homestead, which happens to be in Baxter Canyon. Nearby, rustlers spy them and decide they must get rid of them, not wanting anyone near their hideout. Marlin insists on shooting them but Banks and Wellman, the group's leader, ride down to the cabin, rough up Tex and scare them into moving on. Tex and Ruth pack up their belongings and report the incident to Alice, who promises to help. Meanwhile Jim and Whip are searching surrounding canyons and notice the recently abandoned homestead in Baxter Canyon. Spotting someone running horses, including some from Jim's herd, they draw to shoot the rustler, but Wellman and his men ambush them and Jim and Whip narrowly escape. Wellman now plans to move the herd that evening to avoid being caught. Whip and Jim ride to the line camp and find the two men who were guarding Jim's herd dead. They decide to round up the townsmen to fight the rustlers; however, when they arrive in town they find that Alice has already formed a posse and left for Baxter Canyon using Tex's covered wagon to hide her men. While Whip and Jim rush to find the posse, Wellman and his men ambush the wagon, killing most of the men, and kidnap Alice. Soon after Whip and Jim arrive at the scene and Tex tells them about the kidnapping, but Whip advises against rushing into the canyon to save Alice. Later that afternoon Whip leads the remainder of Jim's herd through Baxter Canyon and is spotted by Banks and Marlin. Assuming Whip is a fellow rustler, the men take him to the homestead cabin, where Alice, held captive by the thieves, recognizes him and reproaches him for betraying her for rustling profit. Banks threatens Alice and forces her to write a note to her father, asking him to keep the law out of the canyon until the rustlers have the chance to escape and insists that Whip take the note to Alice's father. After Whip leaves, Wellman orders Marlin to follow Whip secretly and kill him if Whip makes any false moves. Whip is wise to their plan, however, and ambushes Marlin, knocking him out and then shooting four shots in the air. Wellman and Banks hear the shots and assume Marlin has finished off Whip and delivered the note himself. Later that evening, when Alice resists Wellman after he has caught her escaping the cabin, Whip surprises him and a fistfight ensues. With Jim's help, Wellman and Banks are finally defeated and taken into custody. The next day in town, Whip tells the townspeople their horses have been found and, with the rustlers jailed, Army contracts still stand with prevailing prices. Alice, now in bonnet and dress, reminds Whip that he told her that being a sheriff was a man's job and thanks him for his help. Suddenly Tex comes running out of the store to get his gun from Ruth and resolve another gambling dispute. Whip smiles and advises him to worry about his homestead instead, and Tex and Ruth leave town, followed by Whip and Jim.
Raymond Boltz Jr.
Vincent M. Fennelly
The working title for this film was Wild Horse Canyon. A January 25, 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item states that the picture was shot on location at Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, CA.