Opening credits: During the early days when civilization was pushing its frontiers farther and farther West, there roamed a special breed of men...neither outlaws nor officers of the law, yet more feared than either. For reward money...they tracked down criminals, wanted Dead or Alive, and made themselves both judge and executioner in some lonely court of no appeal. They were called "Bounty Hunters".
This movie was filmed in 3D, but was only released in 2D, so there are scenes in it that look out of place as objects are hurdled toward the screen and guns are pointed at the audience (as was the case in The Stranger Wore a Gun), This was the last of the six Westerns that Randolph Scott and Andre De Toth made together.
The movie opens with Jim Kipp (Randolph Scott) riding along a trail and looking at tracks. A man with a rifle appears on the cliff and he then shoots at Jim. Jim then guns him down and takes his body in to town. He then goes in to the sheriff and hands him the wanted poster.
Sheriff : Never heard of you bringing on in on the hoof. You ever give 'em a chance to get away?
Jim : If you find a bullet hole in his back let me know, meanwhile I'll trouble you for 500 dollars.
Sheriff: Did anyone ever ask you why you took out being a bounty hunter?
Jim : Yeh
Jim: I'm counting the reasons and their ten short
Sheriff: I thought you'd like to pay for the pine box.
Jim: You thought wrong.
A representative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency then asks Jim to hunt for three men who held up a train and killed some of the guards. They made off with $100,000. Jim is offered $5000 for the men, and $5000 for the money they took.
Kipp follows a tip and goes to a store where the outlaws may have bought supplies. He then heads towards the town of Twin Falls. Kipp then heads to meet the town doctor, because one of the hold up men had a bullet in his leg from the shootout at the hold up. Doctor Spence doesn't seem to remember, but his daughter Julie does.
The hotel clerk, Bill Rachin (Ernest Borgnine), has a limp and is a suspect. A card dealer George Williams is also a suspect, and his wife who works at the saloon tries to get information out of him.
Kipp walks Julie home, but is stalked by a gunman. Vance Edwards knows who Kipp is and thinks he is after him because he escaped from jail years ago. Edwards takes a shot at Kipp after he drops Julie off. Kipp then pulls the fleeing Vance from his horse. He exposes who Kipp is to the town as a bounty hunter. Kipp lets Edwards go, telling him to go back to his wife.
Julie and Kipp go to church together, The town people are nervous, and don't want Kipp in town. They don't know who he is after.
Dr. Spencer then tells Julie that he treated the robber with a gun to his head. Now he can be held as an accessory to the crime. He won't tell Julie who the three robbers were.
Kipp then tells some people that he is getting a picture of one of the suspects delivered on the stage tomorrow. The towns people are willing to give Kipp one thousand dollars to leave town, but he isn't having any part of it. Kipp then tells Julie how his parents were killed by bandits when he was young and he is going to capture as many guilty people as he can,
Dr. Spence confronts Wiiliams and tells him that his people should leave town at once. Williams then shoots Dr. Spence.
Kipp goes after Williams and they are soon shooting at each other. Williams was about to tell Kipp who the other two men were when the sheriff shot him in the head.
Kipp goes to check on Dr. Spence just when Julie finds Danvers trying to smother him. Kipp calls to her and Danvers runs away. Kipp now knows he is one of the men.
Kipp chases Danvers on horseback out of town. Kipp hears someone digging and then he hears a gunshot and a horse ride off. He then finds Danvers dead next to the empty money box.
The sheriff deputizes Rachin and they want to arrest Kipp. The stagecoach comes in and Kipp says he wants to see the mail. Vance pulls a gun on the sheriff and Rachin, and Kipp gets his letter. When he opens it the sheriff draws on him and Kipp shoots him in the leg.
The sheriff is going to tell who the third person is, and Alice Williams shoots him down. Julie then wrestles her to the ground. Alice Williams was the third person.
Kipp decides to marry Julie and become the new sheriff.
Unlike the Ranown cycle, our hero settles down with the good woman in this one. He doesn't rise off in to the sunset. But like in the Ranown series we have a hero who has been damaged by an event in the past, and is driven to do what he thinks is right.
An OK movie, which could have better.