Target (1952)

Target (1952)

Directed by thrice Oscar nominated editor Stuart Gilmore and starring Tim Holt using his real name this “B” Western dealing with railroad land rights also features Richard Martin as Holt’s womanizing sidekick Chito Rafferty. Holt & Martin made dozens of films together in the late 40’s and early 50’s with this being one of their last. If you don’t expect too much plot-wise and you enjoy the genre most of these Holt “B” Westerns are passable as harmless entertainment for about an hour on a weekend afternoon (though I’d rate this one slightly below the others).

The story involves “bad guy” Martin Conroy (Walter Reed) assisted by henchmen like Garrett (Lane Bradford) forcing ranchers to sell their land at bargain basement prices to him such that he can turn around and sell it all to the railroad for a substantial profit. As usual Holt & Rafferty (Martin) come along while this scam is taking place and get involved in trying to stop it. It just so happens that the two have been hired as ranch hands and “muscle” by Bailey (John Hamilton) who is the last holdout to Conroy. After learning the situation by stopping Conroy’s men from roughing up newspaper editor David Carsen (Harry Harvey) Holt suggests that the town hires Marshal Terry Moran known for cleaning up elements like Conroy. As it turns out Conroy knows of Moran already he being the one that ran Conroy out of the last town he was in. So Conroy & Garrett try to stop the stagecoach bringing Moran into town. When they fail because Holt & Rafferty were nearby to stop the runaway coach everyone discovers that Mr. Terence Moran is injured and his daughter Terry (Linda Douglas) has come for the job instead. Evidently she had done the paperwork for her father for years and feels she can handle the job.

The characters are rather sexist per the times so they don’t really want a “Petticoat Marshal” in their town. However with some legal discussions and convincing shooting by Terry who deputizes Holt & Rafferty Carsen accepts it. It is Holt however who takes charge and gives the orders. While Holt & Rafferty were away with these concerns Bailey receives $1500 (instead of $15000) for his ranch’s bill of sale from Garrett and then protests to no avail. He chastises Holt & Rafferty when they return for failing to do their jobs but of course it was he who failed to count the money before signing over his land. When Conroy comes to claim the ranch Holt has no choice but to arrest Bailey for resisting it but of course Holt has a plan to make everything come out alright in the end.

Purchase this DVD Collection now at Movies Unlimited - Buy it NOW!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.