What happens when a glamorous express, with high government officials, wealthy merchants, concubines and a gang of brigands on board, speeds towards the small town of Hanshui, where escaping bank robbers, corrupt officials, and gamblers await? Well, let’s just say the Titanic had a smoother maiden voyage.
Seven Men from Now (1956) Budd Boetticher, Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, Lee Marvin, Action, Western
Ex-sheriff Ben Stride tracks the seven men who held up a Wells Fargo office and killed his wife. Stride is tormented by the fact that his own failure to keep his job was the cause of his wife’s working in the express office and thus he is partly responsible for her death.
The Second Time Around (1961) Vincent Sherman, Debbie Reynolds, Steve Forrest, Andy Griffith, Family, Western
In 1911, a widow with two children leaves New York City for territorial Arizona and becomes a ranch hand and later gets herself elected sheriff. A gambler and a rancher become rivals for her affections.
J. C. Aldridge is out to corner the Christman tree market and has bought out all of his competitors except retired movie star Jack Holt. Unknown to Aldridge his foreman has his men sabotaging Holt’s operation so he will be able to sell trees at at a high price and then flee with the money double-crossing his boss. When there is a murder Aldridge arrives to investigate and, unknown to his men, takes a job as a tree cutter. Meanwhile, Roy is fighting to help Holt get his trees to market.
Westward Ho (1935) Robert N. Bradbury, John Wayne, Sheila Bromley, Frank McGlynn Jr., Drama, History, Western
Ballard’s trail jumpers attack the Wyatt Company wagon train, killing young John’s parents and kidnaping his brother, Jim. In post-Civil War California, John Wyatt, now a man, pulls together a vigilante posse, The Singing Riders, who all ride white horses, dress alike, and ride the trails singing and rounding up outlaw gangs. Meanwhile, John is ever on the lookout for the gang that murdered his parents.
Lonely are the Brave (1962) David Miller, Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau, Drama, Western
Ranch hand Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) feels out of place in the modern world. Jack deliberately gets into a bar room fight to be imprisoned alongside friend Paul (Michael Kane), arrested for helping illegal aliens. Jack tries to convince Paul to flee with him, but, as a family man, Paul has too much at stake. Jack escapes after a beating from a sadistic police deputy (George Kennedy) and heads for the hills. An extensive manhunt breaks out, led by sympathetic Sheriff Johnson (Walter Matthau).
U.S. Marshals Nevada Jack McKenzie and Sandy Hopkins ride into Big Piney Basin at the request of Ann Jordan, daughter of a rancher who has been killed and whose cattle have been rustled. At Ann’s home, they find Ted Connors, the only surviving member of the Connors brothers, the other two having been killed the previous night.
This entry in the series featuring RCMP Rod Webb and his wonder dog, Chinook, has a larger cast than usual, popping in and out of about four different plot lines, which leads Chinook with less to do than usual, which makes it a better than usual entry. Corporal Webb (Kirby Grant) finds a man who seems to have hung himself after writing a suicide note. Webb notes this happened while the suicider was in the midst of cooking himself a meal, and concludes that all is not right in this part of Canada. Chinook agrees with him. Marion Carr, Claudia Drake and Gloria Talbott are on hand as (mighty nice) visual distractions.
Trail of the Yukon (1949) William Beaudine, Kirby Grant, Suzanne Dalbert, Bill Edwards, Adventure, Romance, Western
Matt Blaine and his son, Jim, and their men, rob John Dawson’s bank, although Jim doesn’t approve, even though Dawson jumped Matt’s mining claim. Their accomplices double-cross them and the Blaines escape by canoe. They are followed and meet Royal Candian Mounted Policeman Bob McDonald, who helps them fight until all three men are wounded. Aided by Chinook, McDonald’s dog, they escape but Matt dies. McDonald then sets out to prove that Dawson was the real culprit.
The Plainsman was a Technicolor remake of the 1936 Cecil B. DeMille film, all about the fictional romantic triangle of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill. DeMille had the advantage of a topnotch cast: Gary Cooper as Hickok, Jean Arthur as Calamity (complete with a Wally Westmore cosmetic job!) and James Ellison as Buffalo Bill. David Lowell Rich, director of the 1966 The Plainsman, had to make do with Universal contractees Don Murray, Abby Dalton and Guy Stockwell.