Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957): Richard Bare’s b/w Western, Starring Randolph Scott

Richard L. Bare directed Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend, a C-level, black-and-white Western, and the final film Randolph Scott made with Warner.

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend
Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend FilmPoster.jpeg

theatrical release poster

The supporting cast includes James Craig, Angie Dickinson and James Garner.

Captain Buck Devlin, and cavalry troopers Sergeant John Maitland and Private Wilbur Clegg, recently mustered out of the army, head to Devlin’s brother’s homestead to settle down.

They arrived in time to drive off an Indian attack, but they are too late to save his brother; faulty ammunition cost him his life.

The three men set out for Medicine Bend to find out who sold the ammunition. The community gives them funds to buy badly needed supplies.

On the way however, they are robbed of the money, their horses, even their uniforms. Fortunately, they happen upon a Brethren (in Christ) congregation and are given spare clothing.

Devlin decides it would be good idea to pretend to be Brethren while in town. They quickly connect the robbers, and later the defective ammunition, to Ep Clark. Clark controls the mayor and the sheriff, and has his gang pioneers heading west and force  local traders out of business.

Devlin has Maitland and Clegg infiltrate Clark’s shady business by taking jobs at his store. Meanwhile, he goes to work for defiant competing merchant Elam King and his niece Priscilla.

After gaining trust, Devlin learns that King has secret wagon train of weapons, coming in from St. Louis. Devlin starts stealing back Clark’s ill-gotten gains, including his mother’s brooch from saloon girl Nell Garrison, Clark’s reluctant girlfriend.

When Devlin finally comes for Clark, they brawl and Devlin is briefly knocked unconscious. His life is saved when Clark tries to shoot him with bad ammunition. Clark then grabs a scythe, but is fatally impaled when Devlin knocks him down.

In the end, Devlin and Maitland prepare to ride into the sunset with Priscilla and Nell respectively. Clegg surprises them by deciding to stay and serve a “hitch” with the Brethren.

Would-be star James Garner, who had a small role in this picture, later said: “it was always fun working with Dick Bare, and Randy Scott was an old pro, but the movie isn’t worth a damn.”

Randolph Scott as Captain Buck Devlin
James Craig as Ep Clark
Angie Dickinson as Priscilla King
Dani Crayne as Nell Garrison
James Garner as Sergeant John Maitland
Gordon Jones as Private Wilbur Clegg
Trevor Bardette as Sheriff Bob Massey
Don Beddoe as Mayor Sam Pelley
Myron Healey as Rafe Sanders, Clark’s main henchman
John Alderson as Clyde Walters, another of Clark’s men
Harry Harvey as Elam King
Robert Warwick as Brother Abraham
Richard Bellis as David Devlin
Ann Doran as Sarah Devlin
Nancy Kulp as Cleaning Woman


Directed by Richard L. Bare
Written by John Tucker Battle, D. D. Beauchamp
Produced by Richard Whorf
Cinematography Carl E. Guthrie
Edited by Clarence Kolster
Music by Roy Webb

Production and distribution: Warner Bros.

Release date: May 4, 1957 (US)

Running time: 87 minutes