Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)

Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), directed by Budd Boetticher.

It begins light and comic. Randolph Scott rides into a border town controlled by one powerful family. He doesn't care who he offends. When told that a room, a steak, and a bottle of whiskey are all $10 each, he says "This sure is a $10 town." He exchanges glances with the saloon girl and moves away.

A few minutes later, after a shooting, he's on the straw floor of the jail and shortly after that has a rope around his neck.

It becomes a crime story: the family bickers over a ransom and there is much fighting, escaping, being recaptured, losing guns, getting guns back, etc. When the worst villains kill each other the picture is over.

It obeys the tough guy formula: the stalwart, reliable men recognize each other and become allies. True to the series theme, there is a half-villain who can go either way.

One bit I haven't seen before: the river bank is too wet to dig a grave, so they truss a corpse up in the branches of a tree.

This completes the Boetticher/Scott westerns from the boxed set, all available from Netflix and ClassicFlix.

My favorite is:

These are very good:

I'd put these on the bottom of the stack:

There is a seventh Boetticher/Scott western that is not considered part of the "Ranown" cycle: Westbound (1958). It is available for rent from ClassicFlix as a Warner Archive DVD-R.