Bad Man From Red Butte
Universal Pictures

Directed by Ray Taylor
Written by Sam Robbins

Released May 22, 1940

      A Johnny Mack Brown frontier drama with cowboy songs.  Story has Brown with twin brother who's gone bad with result he's mistaken for the killer when he comes into town to lay out a new route for a stagecoach line. 

       His pal, Bob Baker setups up shop as an attorney and fuzzy Knight is on the sidelines as a hair-tonic salesman.  Answer: they clean out the local saloonkeeper-mortgage holder and his gang with the finish leaving the little town as peaceful as heaven.

        An new twist in this one is that the hero knew the heroine before the action opens.  And she's a school teacher.  That's also a little different.  Anne Gwynne, playing the little lady in question should graduate from the dusty Main streets of the cow operas.  She is a charming type and photographs extremely well.



Johnny Mack Brown

Bob Baker

Anne Gwynne ... Tibby Mason

Fuzzy Knight

Bill Cody, Jr.


Sam Robbins- Writer 

Ray Taylor- Director

William Sickner- Cinematographer

Everett Carter & Milton Rosen- songs

Full Storyline

Lawlessness reigns in the town of Triple Creek under political boss Hal Benson and his tool, justice of the peace Hiram Cockran. In a gunfight with Cockran's men, outlaw Gils Brady is wounded and retreats to his cabin. Back in town, Cockran remains determined to foreclose on the mortgage of rancher Dan Toddhunter and gives Toddhunter forty-eight hours to pay his debt. When Toddhunter's grandson protests, Benson begins to beat the boy but is stopped by Buck Halliday, who rides into town with his sidekicks, lawyer Gabriel Hornsby and medicine man Spud Jenkins.

Although the townsfolk mistake Buck for Gils, to whom he bears a strong resemblance, Turner, the manager of the Pioneer Stage Company, recognizes him as the surveyor he hired to plot a new stage route. Buck suggests that the new line run through the Toddhunter ranch, and asks Gabby to draw up a contract for the right of way. At the Toddhunter ranch, Buck offers the old man an advance so that he can pay his mortage.

On his way back to town, Buck stops at an abandoned cabin and there reunites with his wounded twin brother, Gils, who dies in his arms, naming Benson as his murderer. Meanwhile, Toddhunter, flush with his bank loan, is riding to his ranch when he is ambushed and robbed by Jitters and Hank, two of Benson's thugs. Hearing the gunshots, Buck rides to Toddhunter's defense and sends the injured man to town while he pursues the robbers.

In town, Toddhunter dies of his wounds, and Benson accuses Buck of his murder while Cockran incites a lynch mob. To divert the mob, Spud and schoolteacher Tibby Mason (Anne Gwynne) start a fire near the school house, and in the chaos, Buck escapes. Vowing to bring Benson to justice, Buck asks Gabby to run for judge on a law-and-order platform. Spud and Buck then arrest Hank and throw Cockran out of town.

As the townsfolk vote for law and order, Buck and Gabby arrest Jitters and Benson. At the trial, as Hank prepares to testify, Benson and Jitters pull out their guns and commandeer a stage, but are brought finally to justice by Buck.


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