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Film / Ride Lonesome

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Ride Lonesome is a 1959 Western film directed by Budd Boetticher.

Ben Brigade (Randolph Scott) captures wanted murderer Billy John (James Best). Brigade intends to ride a stagecoach to Santa Cruz to collect the bounty, but Mescalero Indians have slaughtered the driver and passengers of the latest one, forcing Brigade to travel on horseback. Accompanying him are the outlaws Sam Boone (Pernell Roberts) and Whit (James Coburn), who have their own designs for Billy John, as well as Carrie Lane (Karen Steele), the widow of the stage station master. Additionally, Billy John's brother Frank (Lee Van Cleef) is pursuing them.


  • Bounty Hunter: Brigade, Boone and Whit have wanted murderer Billy John captive and aim to deliver him to justice. Except it turns out Brigade doesn't really care about the reward and has things to settle with Billy John's brother instead.
  • Call to Agriculture: Boone and Whit intend to retire from their criminal activities and start a farm if they can deliver Billy John to the authorities.
  • Crusading Widow: Brigade's real goal in capturing Billy John is to lure out his brother Frank, who killed Brigade's wife. Brigade intends to kill Frank as revenge.
  • Horse Returns Without Rider: Carrie's husband fails to come home for the night. The next day, some Indians offer Brigade a horse in exchange for Carrie. Carrie recognizes the horse as belonging to her husband, all but stating that he was killed by the Indians.
  • Let the Past Burn: The movie ends with Brigade setting fire to the tree where his wife was hanged and watching it burn.
  • The Pardon: Boone and Whit want to deliver Billy John to the authorities themselves because doing so will give them amnesty for their past crimes.
  • The Savage Indian: The Mescalero Indians in this movie mainly exist to massacre white people or try to exchange a horse for a white woman (then attempt to kill the male characters and forcefully capture the woman when the exchange doesn't happen).
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Whit expresses shock and discomfort when Billy John suggests Frank wouldn't hesitate to shoot the entire party, including Carrie, to save him.