Abilene Town is a 1946 Randolph Scott film. I'm watching a crappy DVD that still has the tape skew on the top of the image. It's based on a book by Ernest Haycox called Trail Town, the screenplay is by Harold Shumate, the director is Edwin L Marin. Edwin directed several of the Maisie pictures with Ann Southern. He directed the 1950 Randolph Scott picture Colt 45. That was a pretty good one.
In Abilene Town Randolph is the town Marshall. Edgar Buchanan is the county Sheriff and Lloyd Bridges is the leader of the homesteaders. Rhonda Fleming is the pretty gal at the mercantile and Ann Dvorak is the dance hall singer. They both have a bit of a thing for Randolph.
Randolph's up against some scummy cattlemen that will kill people to stop the homesteading. It's a pretty horrific scene, when the cattlemen burn the wagon train and kill men women and children. Randolph finds out who lead the baddies and goes after him. Edgar tries to slow down the investigation but he fails. There's some fighting and shooting and horse riding.
There's plenty of tension in the town as the locals decide what side they're on. The merchants figure out quickly that more homesteaders the more customers. There's a great scene at the end when the town gathers together with the homesteaders and stand up to the cattlemen. The West is a little better place to live.
Wagon Wheels is another Randolph Scott Western, this time from 1934. Zane Grey wrote the novel Fighting Caravans, Carl A Buss and Charles Logue adapted the book, Jack Cunningham wrote the screenplay and Charles Barton is the director.
Randolph is one of three men who are leading a wagon train to Oregon. They face the usual hardships, long slow travel, tension in the ranks and Indian attacks. One member of the wagon train is secretly riling up the Indians to attack the train.
Interestingly, at least to me, some of the scenes are filmed in country with snow on the ground. It makes sense, they are traveling a long way at 6 miles a day, and they are crossing the Rockies. Eventually the good guys prevail and most of the wagon train gets to Oregon. It was a pretty good movie, worth a 6 to me, but I do wish there were better copies to watch. So many of these old Westerns look pretty poor on DVD, no one cares to make them better, no money in it.
Third today is yet another Randolph Scott movie. Don't worry, I have plenty more to watch. Man In The Saddle is a 1951 Western based on a Ernest Haycox novel of the same name. The screenplay is by Kenneth Gamet and it's directed by Andre De Toth.
Randolph is a rancher, Alexander Knox is another, Alexander is marrying Joan Leslie, for whom Randolph has feelings. Alexander is ruthless, cold hearted, he wants all the land around him. He forces Clem Bevans off his land and then goes after Randolph.We all know it won't go so well for Alexander in the long wrong.
Ellen Drew plays a nice local rancher. Cameron Mitchell, Tennessee Ernie Ford, John Russell, Richard Rober, Richard Crane, Frank Sully and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams are also in the cast. It's a good story with some good action. Worth a look to me.