Colt .45 (1950): Edwin L. Martin’s Western, Starring Randolph Scott, Ruth Roman, Zachary Scott

Colt .45 (1950)

One of Randolph Scott’s most popular westerns, Colt .45 was directed by Edwin L. Marin, co-starring Ruth Roman and Zachary Scott.

Grade: B+

Colt .45
Colt .45 FilmPoster.jpeg

Theatrical release poster

One of Randolph Scortt’s most popular westerns, Colt .45 was directed by Edwin L. Marin, co-starring Ruth Roman and Zachary Scott.

Reissued under the title Thundercloud, the film served as the loose basis for the TV series Colt .45 seven years later, starring Wayde Preston.

Written by Thomas W. Blackburn, author of the lyrics to “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” the film concerns gun salesman and gunfighter who tracks down a killer who stole two new Colt .45 pistols, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind him.

The revolvers used in the movie were actually first model .44 Caliber Colt revolving belt pistols made in 1849 and reaching final form by 1850.

When Scott demonstrated how to load them, the producers became aware of the title’s anachronism.

In the last reel, the Indians discover the body of Paul, shot in the back by a .45.

Along the trail, Harris and the gang members set a trap and capture Farrell, but the Indians rescue him and kill his captors. Then they ride to Bonanza Creek and go about killing Brett’s men.

Harris, injured, makes his way back to town to warn Brett, holed up in jail with Beth as hostage. When Farrell and Indians arrive at jail, Brett uses Beth as a shield, but she breaks away.

In jail alone, Farrel realizes that Brett is out of ammunition and so puts down his .45s, resulting in a mano a mano fight. When Brett goes for Farrell’s guns, the latter shoots him.

In the happy ending, Farrell walks out into the street, embraced by Beth.

Randolph Scott as Steve Farrell
Ruth Roman as Beth Donovan
Zachary Scott as Jason Brett
Lloyd Bridges as Paul Donovan
Alan Hale, Sr. as Sheriff Harris
Ian MacDonald as Miller
Chief Thundercloud as Walking Bear
Luther Crockett as Judge Tucker
Walter Coy as Carl
Charles Evans as Redrock Sheriff
Carl Andre as Indian
Clyde Hudkins, Jr. as Indian
Leroy Johnson as Indian

Directed by Edwin L. Marin
Written by Thomas W. Blackburn
Produced by Saul Elkins
Cinematography Wilfred M. Cline
Edited by Frank Magee
Music by William Lava

Production and distribution: Warner Bros.

Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: May 27, 1950 (USA)

Running time: 74 minutes
Budget $636,000
Box office $3,121,000
$1.8 million (US)


I am grateful to TCM for showing this Western on August 15, 2022.