Law of the Golden West


60m 1949

Film Details

Release Date
May 9, 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m

Synopsis

In the years before the Civil War, prospector William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his father return from the gold fields of Colorado to their home in Swiftwater, Kansas. As they ride, Bill's father urges him to reconcile with Ann Calvert, the sweetheart he left behind. Suddenly, they are attacked by bandits who kill Bill's father and steal their gold. After the bandits are gone, Bill begins digging a grave for his father's corpse, when he notices a hotel key in the dirt. Later, Bill arrives in Swiftwater, but instead of searching for Ann, he decides to visit the Swiftwater Hotel, to whom the bandit's key belongs. He enters the room that is marked on the key and finds that Ann's present fiancé, lawyer Quentin Morell, is staying there. He finds a picture of Ann on the table, signalling to him that Ann is Morell's financee. When Morell arrives and explains that he has lost his key, Otis Ellis, the clerk, gives him another one. While Bill is distracted, Morell goes up to his room, where he conspires with his henchman, Ann's brother Wayne. Later, Bill tells Otis about the key that he found at the scene of his father's murder, but Otis assures him that Morell is a fine, upstanding businessman. Using Otis' directions, Bill visits the ranch of suspected gang leader Clete Larrabee to look for Morell. Outside the ranch house, Bill overhears Clete collecting a share of the loot for Morell whom he calls "Mr. Smith." When one of the bandits suddenly decides to leave, Bill shoots him. Later, he returns to town, having identified Larrabee's gang as his father's killers. After Morell returns to town, a riot erupts in the streets of Swiftwater, and he reaches for his gun. In doing so, Morell notices that the hidden drawer in his desk has been pried open. Later, Bill asks Clete if he can join the gang, and Clete agrees, then instructs him to go to Oak Road the following day. At the appointed meeting place, Bill accuses some of the bandits of murdering his father, but Wayne replies that they suspected him of carrying ammunition for the Union Army. Later, Morell tells the gang that they will raid a wagon train, which is due to arrive soon. When Bill returns with news of the planned raid, he discovers an unconscious Otis lying on the floor. The raids continue unabated, while Otis attempts to organize a militia to oppose the gang. After Wayne reads a newspaper article stating that Morell is not a Confederate soldier as he has led them to believe, they capture him. Bill visits Ann to tell her that Morell is an impostor, but she refuses to believe him. Just then, Morell enters, confessing to the charge and showing her some of his loot. Ann tries to dissuade Morell from his intended raid on Swiftwater by promising to marry him. When they hear a shot outside, Morell and Clete grab their guns and leave. After the militia successfully opposes the raiders, Morell orders his men to "burn 'em out." The town is set ablaze, and after Bill arrests him, Morell is shot by one of his own men. Later, Bill and Ann are reunited.

Film Details

Release Date
May 9, 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although a July 26, 1948 Daily Variety news item stated that Republic had purchased an original screenplay entitled Law of the Golden West written by Louise Rousseau, no other contemporary source credits Rousseau and it is unlikely that she contributed to the completed film. For more information on Buffalo Bill, please see the entry above for the 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox film, Buffalo Bill.