Randolph Scott in The Nevadan (1950)


(director: Gordon Douglas; screenwriters: Rowland Brown/George W. George/George F. Slavin; cinematographer: Charles Lawton Jr.; editor: Richard Fantl; music: Arthur Morton; cast: Randolph Scott (Andrew Barclay), Dorothy Malone (Karen Galt), Forrest Tucker (Tom Tanner), Frank Faylen (Jeff), George Macready (Edward Galt), Charles Kemper (Sheriff Dyke Merrick), Jeff Corey (Bart), Tom Powers (Billy Martin), Stanley Andrews (Deputy Morgan), Kate Drain Lawson (Mama Flores); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Harry Joe Brown/Randolph Scott; Columbia; 1950)

Solid Western.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Solid Western. It’s sharply written by George W. George and George F. Slavin and superbly directed by Gordon Douglas (“Saps At Sea”/”Them!”/”Rio Conchos”). It’s a lush scenic programmer, filmed mostly in Lone Pine, California. Randolph Scott co-produced it with Harry Joe Brown; they are known for producing the better B-Western.

Tom Tanner (Forrest Tucker) is allowed to escape by the sheriff at a stagecoach rest stop in Westville, Nevada, while being transported to jail. He’s pursued by undercover Federal Marshal Andrew Barclay (Randolph Scott), dressed as a greenhorn in a city suit. Andy wants Tom to lead him to where he hid a quarter-million in gold during a robbery and gains his confidence by saving his life from two bickering outlaw brothers (Jeff Corey & Frank Faylen), who jumped him after he retrieved a map from the bank telling where the gold is hidden. Andy tries to get Tom to be his partner as a fellow fugitive, but while sleeping in the prairie Tom sneaks away. Andy rides onto the ranch run by the pretty Karen Galt (Dorothy Malone) and trades his lame horse for another. He then heads into Twin Forks, where Karen’s wealthy divorced father, the actual ranch owner, Edward (George Macready), runs the town. There he runs into Tom, who pretends not to know him.

It soon becomes apparent that Galt and his gang, the brothers and Sandy (Jock Mahoney), are after Tom’s gold. It leads to an exciting climax, where Tom and Andy after retrieving the gold in an abandoned mine shaft in the mountains have to ban together to fight off Galt’s gang and then go after each other. Meanwhile Karen has learned Andy is a marshal and her father a despicable criminal, and chooses Andy over her greedy dad.

It hits all the right hoof beats, and Charles Lawton Jr.’s gorgeous photography makes it a most pleasant watch.