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Beneath Western Skies

Beneath Western Skies(1944)

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Remind Me

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Longtime schoolteacher Carrie Stokes is infuriated by the way outlaw Bull Bricker's gang is terrorizing the honest citizens of Stokesville. Her outrage grows when her pupil, Tadpole, the young nephew of Sheriff Frog Millhouse, is accidentally wounded during a gunfight caused by the gang. During a council meeting, Carrie appeals to banker Samuel Webster, but he asserts that the town cannot afford to hire anyone to aid Frog and his deputy, Rod Barrow. When newspaper editor Lem Toller suggests finding a "peace officer" like Wyatt Earp, Carrie decides to search among her former pupils. Carrie is voted town commissioner, and while she seeks help, the lawlessness increases. Bull is secretly in league with Webster and Barrow, and their aim is to terrorize people into leaving Stokesville and then buy up their bonds, with which they will gain control over the town. One afternoon, Bull orders his henchman Hank to kill Earl Phillips, a member of the gang who wants out. After Hank shoots Earl in the back, he is himself wounded by a stranger. Frog arrests the stranger, only to discover that he is Johnny Revere, a childhood "friend" who used to tease him mercilessly. Carrie then quietly informs Frog that Johnny is the former pupil to whom she appealed for help. Johnny tells Frog to arrest him anyway, then stages a jailbreak with Hank. While Hank is taking Johnny to the gang's hideout, Frog, not knowing of Barrow's connection to Bull, tells Barrow of Johnny's plan to infiltrate the gang. Barrow rushes to inform Bull, who has invited Johnny to join him. Frog arrives as Johnny is about to be killed, and during the ensuing fight, he and Johnny round up the entire gang except for Bull, who escapes. Soon after, Johnny, still unaware of Barrow's complicity, is tricked by him into chasing Bull. Johnny is knocked out during the chase, and when he regains consciousness, he has complete amnesia. Bull convinces him that he is a secret member of the gang who is posing as the lawman, and so Johnny helps Barrow break the other outlaws out of jail. Soon after, Johnny's conscience begins to bother him, for even though he cannot remember Carrie and Frog, he is disturbed about betraying their trust in him. When Johnny tries to quit the gang, however, Bull forges a "wanted for murder" poster with Johnny's picture on it in order to discredit him. When Frog attempts to arrest Johnny, he is again knocked out and regains his memory. Meanwhile, in town, the council holds another meeting, at which Webster and Bull reveal that they are partners and that they now control Stokesville. Bull orders his men to kill Lem when he protests, but Johnny and Frog arrive in time to save him. After a brutal fight, Johnny and Frog triumph over the gang, and all of the outlaws are jailed. Johnny and Carrie then share a laugh as Tadpole uses a ventriloquist's dummy to tease Frog.