Zeb Smith is a gambler with a larcenous streak, but when an itinerant preacher takes a bullet meant for him, Zeb vows to fulfill the preacher’s mission of building a church. Frustrated in his attempts to get donations, Zeb attempts to capture fugitive Doll Brown in order to obtain the reward. But he finds that there’s more to Doll than meets the eye. When his old friend Bucky McLean shows up gunning for Doll, Zeb sees a chance to redeem them all… one way or another.
This Republic western is yet another retelling of the James Brothers saga–albeit one with a few unexpected twists. This time, Jesse and Frank are supporting characters, while the film’s dramatic weight is carried by Jesse’s (fictional) friend and fellow outlaw Vic Rodell. After one holdup too many, Vic decides to retire from the robbery biz and settle down with his fiancee Paula Collins. It so happens that Paula’s brother is another ex-James gang member, Bob Ford. In exchange for full pardons, Vic and Bob agree to betray Jesse and Frank and bring them to justice, dead or alive. This may well be the only American film in which “dirty little coward” Bob Ford, the man who ultimately plugs Jesse in the back, is depicted sympathetically.
Cowhand Jeff Donner meets Susan Crowley, a spy for the Union in the Civil War, and gets dragged into her espionage ring that is out to foil the South’s attempts to break the blockade keeping them from obtaining food and supplies. The trek leads to Mexico.
Former boxing champ Maxie Rosenbloom plays a lampooned variation of Hopalong Cassidy, with all the standard western cliches in evidence. “Skipalong” Rosenbloom is depicted as the star of a heavily commercialized TV kiddie show, presided over by a smarmy announcer. The plot proper finds “Skipalong” at odds with western bad guy Butcher Baer, played by Rosenbloom’s onetime ring opponent Max Baer.
Ann and Tom Howard arrive from the east to take up ranching. But Tom wants to return and forges his sister’s name to the deed and sells it to Larson. Eddie knows there is silver ore in the area and that Lawson, who killed the Sheriff, is out to get all the ranches. When Lawson appoints himself the new Sheriff, Eddie organizes the ranchers to fight Lawson and his men.
Coralie, the daughter of an investment broker, faces a series of challenges when his father dies of a heart attack after losing all his money in poker.
During the Civil War, a Confederate spy takes a job as marshal of a small western town as a cover for his espionage activities. However, he soon finds out that a local businessman is selling weapons to a band of rampaging Indians.
Bill Saunders arriving in a lawless town is quickly made Marshal. But when he arrests the gang members, the victims refuse to testify. However one rancher is willing to testify and when the gang kills him, Bill jails the killers. This causes the gang leader Rawhide to reveal the identity of the big boss and Bill goes after him.