Rimfire An undercover army officer investigating the theft of army gold shipments takes a job as deputy in a small town that’s being terrorized by what they believe is the ghost of a gambler who was wrongly convicted and hanged for those robberies.
Under Appreciated Little “B” Western Ghost Story!
Rimfire is an almost forgotten little gem of a western. In fact, I hadn’t heard of it until it’s recent DVD release. It was produced by the Lippert Company and directed by the veteran B. Reeves Easton. Easton had been around films since 1915 and this was his final directorial effort. Running at a scant 63 minutes it boasts a fairly large cast of recognizable western players and contains an interesting story line.
Tom Harvey (James Millican) foils a stagecoach holdup and comes into town and takes a job as a deputy sheriff. Heroine Polly Jordan (Mary Beth Hughes, who was on the coach turns out to be the niece of the town sheriff Jim Jordan (Victor Kilian). Harvey confides int the sheriff that he is in fact an under cover army officer in search of some stolen government bullion. Harvey and Polly meanwhile, become attracted to each other.
Gambler, The Abilene Kid (Reed Hadley) who had also been on the coach, is falsely framed for cheating in a card game by saloon owner Barney Bernard (Ray Bennett) and his two henchmen Blazer (John Cason) and Toad (I. Stanford Jolley). Harvey believes in the Kid’s innocence but is unable to prove it. In a trial Bernard and his two henchmen testify against him and Judge Gardner (George Cleveland) finds him guilty and sentences him to hang.
Following the Kid’s execution, several of the Kid’s accusers begin to be murdered by a ghostly figure believed by some to be the ghost of the Kid. A playing card in sequential order is found at the scene of each murder leading all to believe that the Kid is somehow involved. Finally Harvey discovers the identity of the murderer and………….
This was a rare opportunity for veteran character actor Millican to play the lead and romance the heroine. He had been around films since the early 1930s but is probably best remembered for his western roles (on both sides of the law) and for his distinctive speaking voice. His career was cut short by an early death in 1955 at the age of 45.
Others in the cast include Fuzzy Knight and Chris-Pin Martin as the comic relief, Henry Hull as newspaper editor Nathanial (Horace??) Greeley, Glenn Strange as the stagecoach driver and Margia Dean as Lolita a saloon girl.
Take a look at this one if you get the chance. Rimfire