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Western films, from silent to today

The Savage Horde (1950)

The Savage Horde (1950) posterBill Elliott is Ringo, a notorious gunman on the run from the law and the U.S. cavalry because he gunned down a drunken officer in self-defense.

He winds up in Utah, smack dab in the middle of a range war, using the assumed name of Steve McKay.

On one side of the range war is Wade Proctor (Grant Withers), who claims the first rancher to have steers on a piece of land has priority use of that land.

He has size on his side. Not to mention the territorial judge under his thumb. Not to mention a gunman named Dancer and a heavy named Fergus to back up his claims.

On the other side are small ranchers like Glenn Larrabee (Noah Beery Jr.). Ringo takes in one exchange between Proctor’s men and Larrabee and sides with the small ranchers. In fact, he becomes partners with Larrabee.

His plan for disguising his true identity: He won’t wear a six-gun. And he’ll use the name Steve McKay.

Oh, and Ringo has an ulterior motive for hanging around the community of Gunlock. His former lady love (Lorna Gray as Livvy Weston) has opened a restaurant in town. She’s also being romanced by none other than Wade Proctor.

Review:

A routine Elliott outing that features a plot that’s complex enough to keep things from getting too dull.

In fact, this tale features two love stories on the rocks. In addition to the Ringo-Wade Proctor-Livvy Weston triangle, Larrabee plans to marry Louise Cole (Barbra Fuller). She’s the daughter of the judge being controlled by Proctor. That, naturally, creates tension between them.

For good measure, we have Sam Jeffries, an aging rancher convinced to hang onto his land by the Larrabee-Ringo partnership and a traveling gunsmith named Buck Yallop with a knack for showing up at the right place at the right time.

Jim Davis plays Lt. Mike Baker, a cavalry officer with the thankless job of helping track down his brother. That would be John Baker, Ringo’s real name. Yep, Elliott gets three monikers in this film.

Bill Elliott as Ringo with Lorna Gray (Adrian Booth) as Livvy Weston in The Savage Horde (1950)Directed by:
Joseph Kane

Cast:
Bill Elliott … John Baker (Ringo / Steve McKay)
Lorna Gray … Livvy Weston
as Adrian Booth
Grant Withers … Wade Proctor
Barbra Fuller … Louise Cole
Noah Beery Jr. … Glenn Larrabee
Jim Davis … Lt. Mike Baker
Bob Steele … Dancer
Douglass Dumbrille … Col. Price
Will Wright … Judge Thomas Cole
Roy Barcroft … Fergus
Earle Hodgins … Buck Yallop
Stuart Hamblen … Stuart
Hal Taliaferro … Sgt. Gowdy
Lloyd Ingraham … Sam Jeffries
Marshall Reed … Henchman Polk
Crane Whitley .. Greb
Charles Stevens … Morellis
James Flavin … Guard

Runtime: 90 min.

Lorna Gray (Adrian Booth) as Livvy Weston and Grant Withers as Wade Proctor in The Savage Horde (1950)Memorable lines:

Morellis: “You’re loco, Greb. You got no brain in your head. You tried to get the drop on Ringo, the fastest man with a gun in this whole country. He kill like death.”
Greb: “Well, I forgot.”
Morellis: “Forgot? You almost forgot for good.”

Cowhand: “You ought to wear a gun, too. How come you don’t?”
Ringo: “A gun’s too heavy. It kind of sags my pants out of shape.”
Cowhand: “Yeah, well I’d rather get caught without my pants than without my gun with that gang around trying to take up all the country.”

Ringo, asking about Larrabee’s girl: “What does she look like?”
Larrabee: “Oh, she’s little. And sort of bendy.”
Ringo: “Bendy? You mean bandy legged.”
Larrabee: “No. No. You know, bendy, like a willow tree in the breeze.”

Sam Jeffries, at his farewell party: “I fought things like droughts, floods, blizzards where my stock froze to death standing up. That’s part of nature though. Where she takes away one blade of grass, someday she puts another one back to sort of even things up. But I can’t fight guns in the dark. That’s what this is leading to, mark me. Here’s to kindness.”

Wade Proctor: “You’re making a mistake throwing in with these people.”
Ringo: “You might be making a mistake fighting them.”

Stuart, checking out his herd at night: “Dancer, what are you doing out here?”
Dancer, Proctor’s gun hand: “I like to go riding in the moonlight. I like to look at cows.”

Proctor man as Fergus beats up Ringo: “Hey, Proctor said we’re supposed to take him in alive.”
Fergus: “He didn’t say how much alive.”

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