The Bounty Hunter (1954 film)
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|The Bounty Hunter|
|Directed by||André de Toth|
|Produced by||Samuel Bischoff|
|Written by||Winston Miller (story)
|Music by||David Buttolph|
|Cinematography||Edwin B. DuPar|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||September 22, 1954|
|Running time||93 minutes|
The Bounty Hunter is a 1954 western film, the last of six Randolph Scott Westerns directed by André de Toth. It was released by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was filmed in 3-D but released in standard format, though a 3-D print exists in the Warner archives. Stock footage from Carson City is used at the beginning of the film.
A prologue explains the role of the bounty hunter. A wanted criminal named Burch tries to ambush bounty hunter Jim Kipp, but Kipp gets the better of him. Kipp takes Burch's corpse into town to collect the reward.
A representative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency asks Kipp to hunt a trio of fugitives. Three masked men committed a robbery and fled with $100,000. Kipp, who has the reputation that he will do anything for money, is offered a huge reward if he can capture the culprits dead or alive.
Kipp rides into the town of Twin Forks, and uses an alias. He seeks information about one fugitive's wounds from Dr. Spencer, who is wary of revealing too much. Kipp is immediately attracted to the doctor's daughter, Julie.
A limping man named Bill Rachin, who works at the hotel, draws Kipp's suspicion. So does George Williams, a card dealer. Williams' wife, Alice, flirts with Kipp and tries to coax information out of him. Kipp does not reveal the purpose for his visit.
Vance Edwards identifies Kipp and his reputation as a bounty hunter. Edwards mistakenly believes Kipp is seeking him for another crime. The townspeople become anxious as the truth about Kipp becomes known. Led by the postmaster, Danvers, they offer Kipp a bribe to leave town.
Dr. Spencer confronts Williams, and Williams shoots him. Kipp tries to force Williams to tell what he knows about the robbery, but Sheriff Brand shoots Williams dead while hidden. Danvers tries to smother the seriously wounded Spencer, but he is discovered by Julie. He flees, but he is shot down by an unseen gunman.
Kipp now knows Danvers was one of the three robbers. The sheriff deputizes Rachin and plans to get rid of the bounty hunter. Vance rescues Kipp, grateful that the bounty hunter is not after him. Kipp identifies Brand as another of the robbers. Brand tries to shoot Kipp from behind, but Alice Williams kills him. She explains that Brand deserved it for shooting her husband.
Kipp realizes that Alice is the third robber. He apprehends her as she is about to escape on horseback with the money.
Kipp decides to settle in Twin Forks. He marries Julie, and becomes the new town sheriff.
- Randolph Scott as Jim Kipp
- Dolores Dorn as Julie Spencer
- Marie Windsor as Alice Williams
- Howard Petrie as Sheriff Brand
- Harry Antrim as Dr. Spencer
- Robert Keys as George Williams
- Tyler MacDuff as Vance
- Ernest Borgnine as Rachin
- Dub Taylor as Danvers
- Fess Parker as the young cowboy
Randolph Scott plays the title role dressed in black. A lawman without a badge, he explains his occupation as one of wishing to enforce the law but "not wanting to break up fights or throw drunks in jail." When asked by the town sheriff why he became a bounty hunter, he counts his cash reward, replying, "I'm counting the reasons, and they're ten short".