The Last Posse

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When a disgruntled rancher and his sons rob at gun-point a rival rancher, the town forms a posse to go after the culprits but the ensuing events are muddled by unclear facts, false testimony, old scores, secrets, murder and stolen money. “A sheriff has no friends”…except his badge and the bullets in his belt!

ACTORS :  Broderick Crawford, John Derek, Charles Bickford

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1953

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The Last Posse  When the anxiously awaited posse returns with neither prisoners nor the stolen money, we learn in flashback what happened. Having been cheated by Sampson Drune, a father and his two sons have robbed him and fled. A posse led by Drune took off after them and although unwanted, the town’s drunken Sheriff joined them. The Sheriff’s influence on Jeb, the adopted son of Drune, was the key to Jed later revealing who killed Drune, the robbers, and what happened to the money.

Who Shot The Sheriff?

The Last Posse  For those of you who like discovering unknown sleeper westerns than The Last Posse is for you. No cowboy heroes in this one just an honest sheriff doing his job and a young man who let’s his better side take over rather than live with a lie.

A posse comes in from the hunt with the bodies of the men they were hunting, the man whom these people robbed and a badly wounded Broderick Crawford who is the town sheriff. Some of the town’s leading citizens like Will Wright, Warner Anderson, Raymond Greenleaf and Tom Powers are with the posse along with the adopted son of the robbery victim Charles Bickford. It’s the son played by John Derek on whom the responsibility for the truth lies.

We hear some of the truth in flashback from the posse members. Bickford owns the local Ponderosa and he’s not a benevolent type like Ben Cartwright. In fact he’s pushed another rancher James Bell far enough. Bell and sons Guy Wilkerson and Skip Homeier rob him as he’s making a deposit of six figures. It’s Bickford who pulls a posse together and doesn’t want the sheriff along, but Crawford goes anyway.

The desert trip brings out the truth about a lot of things and Derek has to face up to a different version about his past than he’s been told. It’s not a pretty picture.

The film is in stark black and white and plays for much of the time like a noir thriller. But this B film from Columbia is a real sleeper and not to be missed by either noir or western fans.

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