Cripple Creek (1952)


 (director: Ray Nazarro; screenwriter: Richard Schayer; cinematographer: William V. Skall; editor: Richard Fantl; music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff; cast: George Montgomery (Bret Ivers), Karin Booth (Julie Hanson), Jerome Courtland (Larry Galland), William Bishop (Silver Kirby), Richard Egan (Strap Galland alias Gillis), Don Porter (Denver Jones), John Dehner (Emil Cabeau), Roy Roberts (Marshal John Tetheroe), George Cleveland (‘Hardrock’ Hanson), Robert Bice (James Sullivan), Robert G. Anderson (Muldoon), Cliff Clark (Winfield Hatton); Runtime: 78; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward Small; Columbia; 1952)

“Tolerable routine oater.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Tolerable routine oater directed by Ray Nazarro (“Gun Belt”/”The Lone Gun”/”Top Gun”). It’s set in 1892 and 1893 in the gold rush town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. The country is in a Depression, gold is scarce and gold thieves have become brazen in Cripple Creek stealing right from the mine wagon loads of the most valuable ore. The government responds by sending undercover Secret Service agents Larry Galland (Jerome Courtland) and Bret Ivers (George Montgomery) to infiltrate the outlaws and their smuggling operation. The agents have a third partner, Strap Galland (Richard Egan), Larry’s brother, who gets himself placed as a faro dealer in Silver Kirby’s (William Bishop) Palace Hotel. It doesn’t take long for the agents to figure out that the livery stable owner Cabeau (Jerome Courtland) and his boss Kirby are part of the hi-graders. When the crooked marshal (Roy Roberts) discovers that Larry and Bret are agents, Strap risks his life to protect them and pays with his life after he shoots the marshal in self-defense. In an action-packed climax, that includes a barroom brawl, the agents risk their lives to discover how the outlaws smuggle the gold out of the country. They learn it’s by plating it in a silver mine with lead, and also find out that the big boss of the operation is one of the respected mine owners and that someone they never expected to be involved in the operation also has a hand in it.

It makes for a pleasant time waster, that plays it straight and offers no surprises. It’s the kind of pic I believe I saw years ago but couldn’t remember a thing about it (which is what I expect will happen again).