Cast & Crew
In 1880, near the western town of Millcreek, Sheriff Dan Porter is accompanying a stagecoach driven by his brother. The coach is attacked by bandits Jess Raidley and Lewis "Tulsa" Cook, who steal the cargo and kill Dan's brother. Jess's friend, Lem Creal, an elderly drunkard, witnesses the robbery but flees on Dan's horse, and when Dan finds Lem's horse, he recognizes the distinctive brand of the Dalton Ranch. The next day, Dan and his deputy, Moose, travel to the ranch, which is owned by notorious former outlaw James Dalton. Dalton swears that he has been "clean" for ten years, and assures Dan that if any of his ranchhands are involved, he will turn them in. When Lem lets slip that Jess and Tulsa were out late the previous night, Dalton orders him to find them. Lem goes to the corral, where Jess is flirting with Dalton's feisty daughter Kate, and when the men return to the bunkhouse, Jess asks Dalton to let them escape. Dalton refuses, however, and Jess shoots him and rides off with Tulsa before the sheriff spots them. Just as Dan and Moose, with their guns drawn, step into the bunkhouse, Kate arrives and sees her father. Although the two men do not see Kate, she assumes that they are her father's killers, and later, when her aunt, Mrs. Merril, takes her to Millcreek, Kate reacts violently upon meeting Dan. Dan is immediately infatuated with Kate, and cannot understand her comments that he kills while hiding behind his badge. Soon after, Lem is jailed for public drunkenness and promises Dan, who does not know his relationship to Jess, that he is a changed man and will become a good citizen. While Dan mulls over Lem's situation, he receives a bulletin concerning a robbery committed by an outlaw known only as "Big Red." Dan then finds a pocketwatch among Lem's possessions, and is stunned to see a photo of Dalton and Kate within it. When Dan confronts her, Kate proudly admits that she is Dalton's daughter and accuses Dan of his murder. Dan refutes her accusations, but assures her that he bears her no ill will. Later, Dan and Kate have overcome their quarrel and are dating, while Lem works at Mrs. Merril's general store as a handyman. Their quiet life is interrupted, however, by the appearance of Tulsa, gang member "Rock" Swenson and Jess, who wants to silence Lem. Unaware that Jess is her father's killer, Kate pretends not to know him, and Jess and Tulsa tell Dan that they are horse traders. Dan is suspicious, however, especially when Lem goes to great lengths to avoid the "strangers." While Jess dines with Kate in a cantina, Dan confronts Rock and the nervous Tulsa in the saloon and orders them to remove their guns within city limits. Dan trounces Rock when the outlaw starts a fistfight, while at the cantina, Jess informs Kate that he saw Dan shoot her father in cold blood. When Dan enters the cantina, Jess twists his words to make Kate think that Dan considers them both to be "bad company." Jess then goes with Rock to the saloon, where Tulsa is watching the drunken Lem, and Jess asks Lem to leave with them. Afraid for his life, Lem refuses, and both men pull derringers. Lem shoots first but misses, after which Jess kills him. Dan wants to arrest Jess and tells the protesting Kate that he will receive a fair trial, but she kicks him and escapes with Jess and his men. Learning that Lem had called Jess "Big Red" before dying, Dan realizes that Jess is the infamous outlaw and sends out a description of all the bandits except Kate. While Dan searches for them, the gang commits a series of robberies, and Tulsa tells Kate that he prefers her more profitable, less violent schemes to Jess's methods of thieving. Kate is surprised to learn that Jess is Big Red and continues to fend off his romantic advances. Soon the group arrives in Black Rock, a town filled with outlaws, and there Jess proposes marriage. Kate is hesitant but insists that she no longer has feelings for Dan. Meanwhile, Dan and Moose have followed the bandits to Black Rock, and Moose is injured by a shot from Rock. Dan's posse pursues the criminals while Dan tends to Moose, and Dan soon rejoins his men. Needing fresh horses, Jess's group attacks a lonely outpost, and when a single gun fires back at them, Jess shoves Tulsa into the open so that when he is shot, Jess will be able to see where their opponent is hiding. Jess succeeds in shooting the rancher, but Tulsa is gravely wounded. Kate is horrified by Jess's actions and wants to stay with Tulsa, but Jess forces her to ride away. When they camp that night, Kate returns to Tulsa, who, before dying, reveals that Jess deliberately killed Dalton and Lem. Upon discovering that Kate has escaped, Jess and Rock trace her steps, and she lures them into revealing themselves to the pursuing Dan. Dan shoots Rock, then chases Jess on foot onto the high cliffs above. Jess pretends to be unarmed, but when he pulls his derringer, Dan is forced to shoot him, and Jess falls to his death. Assuming that Kate will run away, Dan is surprised when she brings him his horse, and even though Kate is facing a long prison term, the couple rides off together.
Eugene Anderson Jr.
Edward L. Alperson Jr.
Eugene Anderson Jr.
According to this film's reviews, The Outlaw's Daughter was independently produced by Edward L. Alperson's Alplee Pictures Corp. and was purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox for distribution only a few weeks before its release. Fox intended the picture "to supplement its more important CinemaScope releases," according to the Motion Picture Herald Prod Digest review. The film marked the screen debut of actress Kelly Ryan.