A far more satisfying western than I was first watching today starring Randolph Scott, which was Sugarfoot (1951). But tonight’s offering Westbound (1959) was more rewarding, set in the middle of the civil war, and on the winning side.
With the setting in place we are straight into whats going to be in store for us as Captain John Hayes who is sent on a mission that could be the turning point of the war with gold running short for both sides of the war. To keep the Overland Stage Line running to maintain gold supplies from California to the Union troops wherever they maybe.
Basing himself in Joulesberg, Colorado, where only trouble awaits him and his lone soldier Rod Miller (Michael Dante) with him who has his own demons from the war to deal with. Faced with a town of Confederate sympathizers a gang of men set about to make the gold-run as unsuccessful as possible. And with scathing results, seeing horses being run off, stations being burnt to the ground. Lead by a driven Clay Putnam (Alan Duggan) who wants the enemy to win but not at the cost of innocent lives, which was being pushed to as one stagecoach left on one of the first journeys. With gang leader Mace (Michael Pate) who will stop at nothing.
I just can’t see looking at this late Randolph Scott film how his popularity waned. Was this just a fluke as his career was taking a slow nosedive before the final swansong in Ride the High Country (1962). I suppose as I discover more of his work a better picture will form as to his decline in popularity.