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Western films, from silent to today

The Redhead from Wyoming (1953)

The Redhead from Wyoming (1953) posterWilliam Bishop is Jim Averall, a schemer who hopes to use discord between homesteaders and cattle king Reece Duncan (Alexander Scourby) as a route to fame and fortune, and perhaps the governor’s mansion in Wyoming.

Maureen O’Hara is Kate Maxwell, the former lover he brings to the town of Sweetwater to run a saloon and buy mavericks.

What she doesn’t know is many of the mavericks joining her herd aren’t mavericks at all; they’re cattle rustled from Duncan’s herd using a special branding iron that easily converts the Duncan brand into the Kate Maxwell brand.

Stuck trying to keep peace between the homesteaders, Duncan and his men and the scoundrels working for Averall is Sheriff Stan Blaine (Alex Nicol), a drifter appointed to that position because he’d be easy to handle.

Perhaps not, especially once Averall frames Kate for murder and rustling in hopes of initiating a range war.


Maureen O’Hara, who was receiving praise for her performance in “Quiet Man” at the time, famously labeled this movie “another Western stinkeroo for Unviversal.”

It might not be quite that bad, but you’d better like O’Hara to enjoy the film. She’s quite the spirited gal, talking her way out of jail in time to fire away at Averell and his men along with everyone else in the final shootout.

Gregg Palmer and Dennis Weaver play two of the homesteaders in support roles. Both would go on to much bigger Western roles. The best roles belong to Alex Nicol as the drifter forever wondering if it’s time to drift again and Bishop as the dreamer willing to stab anyone in the back to get ahead.

Maureen O'Hara as Kate Maxwell with William Bishop as Jim Averall in The Redhead from Wyoming (1953)Directed by:
Lee Sholem

Maureen O’Hara … Kate Maxwell
Alex Nicol … Sheriff Stan Blaine
William Bishop … Jim Averell
Robert Strauss … Knuckles Hogan
Alexander Scourby … Reece Duncan
Gregg Palmer … Hal Jessup
Jack Kelly … Sandy
Jeanne Cooper … Myra
Dennis Weaver … Matt Jessup
Stacy Harris … Chet Jones

Runtime: 77 min

Memorable lines:

Sheriff Blaine, after Duncan has taken a shot at Averell: “Put the gun away.”
Duncan: “I only aimed to drill his hat, sheriff. Just to let out some hot air.”

Duncan: “Miss Maxwell, have you looked into this (buying mavericks), too? It’s liable to get you into some real hot water.”
Kate: “Why I soak in hot water every day, mister. It’s good for the complexion.”

Averell: “Believe me, that last sour deal is way behind me. I’m going up, up and up, right into the governor’s mansion.”
Kate: “To ask (for) a pardon?”

Duncan: “Sheriff, there’s going to be a range war here. I suggest you decide whose side you’re going to be on.”
Sheriff Blaine: “I have. I’m on the side of the first man who gets killed.”

Kate Maxwell: “Seems to me, all men want to do is fight, even when they talk peace.”

Sheriff Blaine: “You didn’t spend much time in jail?”
Kate Maxwell: “Could afford it sheriff. Too many chores.”

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