Rage at Dawn (March 26, 1955)
Released on March 26, 1955: In 1866 the Reno brothers are terrorizing Indiana, and James Barlow (Randolph Scott) is sent to bring the gang to justice.
Directed by Tim Whelan
Written by Frank Gruber with screenplay by Horace McCoy.
The Actors: Randolph Scott (James Barlow), Forrest Tucker (Frank Reno), Mala Powers (Laura Reno), J. Carrol Naish (Simeon 'Sim' Reno), Edgar Buchanan (Judge), Myron Healey (John Reno), Howard Petrie (Lattimore, the prosecuting attorney), Ray Teal (the Sheriff of Seymour), William Forrest (William Peterson), Denver Pyle (Clint Reno), Trevor Bardette (Fisher), Kenneth Tovey (Monk Claxton), Holly Bane (Lee Harney), Phil Chambers (Deputy Cortright), Richard Garland (Bill Reno), Chubby Johnson (Hyronemus), Jimmy Lydon (Dedrick, Fisher's clerk), Ralph Moody (Noah Euall), Dennis Moore (the doctor), William Phipps (Bill Peterson Jr.), Guy Prescott (the conductor), Arthur Space (Murphy the bartender), George Wallace (Sheriff Mosley), Dan White (the train conductor).
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This technicolor thriller is as good a cowboy movie as you'll ever see. It supposedly chronicles the true adventures of America's first known train robbers, the Reno Brothers. Randolph Scott stars as the hero that infiltrates the gang, and veteran western actors Forrest Tucker and Denver Pyle are two of the Reno Brothers. You will also recognize Ray Teal, in this movie he is the corrupt Sheriff of Seymoure, but you will remember him as Sheriff Roy Coffee on the television series "Gunsmoke." And the corrupt Judge is Edgar Buchanan, who you might remember as Uncle Joe on the Petticoat Junction television series.
This movie starts with the Reno brothers on their way to a small town with the intention of robbing the bank. But the town knows they are coming, and the townsmen set up an ambush for the Reno brothers. A shoot-out results in the youngest Reno brother getting killed, and the rest escaping after a wild chase.
After Barlow (Randolph Scott) infiltrates the gang, he helps set up an ambush for the Reno's. He leads them to a train robbery set-up, and after a long and classic gun fight, the Reno's are all killed and captured, and the corrupt judge, sheriff and prosecuting attorney from the Reno's home town are also taken into custody. But there is still more action, as the townsmen, happy to be free from the corrupt town officials and the Reno's, decide that the only way to guarantee that their town is never again terrorized by the likes of the Reno brothers is to take them from the jail and hang them without a trial. Only a man like Barlow can intervene and prevent the law-less justice that is about to happen. But is he successful at stopping the lynching? Not on your life. During the early years of the Hays Office an ending that featured good townspeople lynching the robbers without a trial might not have been allowed, but with the competition of television, the standards for movie production were slowly starting to loosen.