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Dynamite Pass

Dynamite Pass(1950)


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As soon as out-of-work cowboys Ross Taylor and Chito Rafferty ride into Mesa City, New Mexico, they become embroiled in a saloon fight between Mary Madden and the brutish Mizzouri, whom Mary believes slipped her alcoholic husband Dan a "mickey." Although Ross bests Mizzouri in the saloon, the thug later shoots at Dan as he is being brought to the town hotel, wounding him. Ross and Chito pursue Mizzouri on horseback, but soon lose him out on the mesa. Anxious to help the pretty Mary, Chito and Ross return to Mesa City. There they learn that Dan is trying to build a toll-free road between Mesa City and the neighboring town of Clifton, but is being attacked by greedy rancher Anson Thurber and his gang, who currently operate the only road in the area. Determined to complete the road, Mary offers to take over the job from her despondent husband, who wants to quit. Dan, however, refuses to allow Mary to do his work for him and hires Chito and Ross to escort his wagon, which is filled with surveying equipment, to Clifton. While crossing Thurber's land, Dan's wagon is stopped by a gun-wielding Thurber, who demands a fifty-dollar toll. When Thurber then tries to look inside the wagon, where Dan is hiding, Ross suddenly shoots the lock off the toll gate, then rides off with the wagon. After hiding the wagon among some rocks, Mary sends Ross to Clifton to get help from their boss, Jay Wingate. Alerted by Ross, Jay, who operates Clifton's general store, rounds up a posse and, with Ross, saves Mary, Chito and Dan from Thurber and his gang. Later, Dan accepts Jay's offer to house the wagon in his locked barn, unaware that the store owner is in cahoots with Thurber and has been raising money for the road under false pretenses. Wingate and Thurber plan to steal Dan's wagon so that they can force him out of town and kill him on the road. While Dan, Mary, Ross and Chito attend a town dance, Thurber's men, led by Mizzouri, enter Wingate's barn looking for the wagon. They are soon interrupted by Chito, however, who hears them while kissing a girl outside the barn. Although Chito prevents them from stealing the wagon, Thurber's men get away with Dan's surveying equipment. When the sheriff refuses to arrest Thurber for lack of evidence, Chito and Ross arrest Mizzouri themselves, but the thug manages to escape. At the dance, meanwhile, Dan once again quits in frustration, but changes his mind when a townsmen suggests that a vigilante group be formed to finish the road. Ross then returns to the dance to question Wingate, whose barn key he found in Mizzouri's pocket. Wingate refuses to be implicated and insinuates that Ross was too busy flirting with Mary to prevent the theft. Infuriated, Ross slugs Wingate in front of the sheriff and is arrested. Ross and Chito manage to break free, however, and ride to Thurber's ranch, where they see Stryker, Wingate's store clerk, delivering a load of dynamite to Thurber. Thurber then orders Stryker to set the explosives on the road, and after exchanging gunfire with the clerk, Ross and Chito deduce Thurber's murder plot. Before they can alert Dan to the danger, Ross and Chito are caught by the sheriff and put in jail. From his cell, Ross yells to Mary, who is passing by on the street, and she helps the cowboys to escape. Ross and Chito then ride to intercept Dan, who has resumed drinking out of jealousy, and save him from sure death. Surrounded by Thurber's gang, the cowboys are forced into a gun battle and are almost killed by exploding dynamite. The sheriff arrives in time to witness the attack and arrests the gang. Later, as the just-completed road is about to be dedicated, Ross and Chito bid a regenerated Dan and his devoted wife Mary goodbye.