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Literature / Forbidden Valley

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Wyoming cowpokes Harry Riley and Doug [McLaren, after helping capture some outlaws, are struck by one of the men's resemblance to local rancher Cal Clanton. They find themselves looking into Clanton, and uncovering signs of his evidence in local criminal enterprises that he will stop at nothing to keep a secret.

Tropes:

  • Badass Native: Johnny Beaver, despite his youth, helps the group hold their own in the climax and is the one to kill Clanton.
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  • Blackmail Backfire: Bruno is killed for trying to blackmail his brother. Clanton himself has been blackmailing Jim Hutton for being an escaped convict, using this to take away his cattle herd, which leads to his eventual ruination and gets the heroes madder at him.
  • The Bouncer: Clanton's henchman Monk Kincaid.
  • Cain and Abel: Clanton is more than willing to murder his own brother, Bruno, for threatening to expose his outlaw past. For his part Bruno is well aware of this and smugly takes steps to counter it.
  • Crusading Lawyer: The town has one willing to help catch Clanton, and take an initiative in clearing Ben's name once they find out why he's being blackmailed.
  • Dumb Muscle: Dumb George, who can kill a man with his bare-hands, but lacks any real malice or intelligence and only follows Clanton due to personal loyalty.
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  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Bruno has a wife, Rosa, that he cares about.
  • Frame-Up: Jim Hutton was just a prisoner willing to serve out his sentence when, while working on a road gang, another prisoner badly injured their guard, and then used Ben's tools to finish him off so that it would look like he was equally guilty and prevent Ben from stopping or testifying against him (forcing him to run as well).
  • Heroic Bystander: Doug and Harry initially have no stakes in anything, but become involved with it anyway for the sake of what's right.
  • Karma Houdini: Shonts and Gomer, two of Clanton's men, escape the territory at the end and are mentioned as having joined the Wild Bunch, although its speculated they might come to a bad end anyway.
  • Left for Dead: Clanton and his men are so busy making sure that Bruno and Rosa are dead after ambushing their stagecoach that they never stop to check on the other passenger sitting across from them, who Harry and Doug then find alive.
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  • Locked Out of the Loop: Part of the climax comes from the rest of Clanton's gang having failed to tell Dumb George that They'd killed Bruno and his wife Rosa, causing him to mistake Hutton's daughter for Rosa and try to kidnap her.
  • Police Are Useless: Local lawman Roy Malcom is never able to capture any fo the criminals himself and is utterly stubborn about refusing to believe that Cal Clanton is a crook.
  • Saloon Owner: [LaSalle is perceived as one, but is actually just a front man for Clanton.
  • The Siege: The climax has Clanton and his henchmen surrounding the ranch house where Doug, Harry and their allies are and pinning them down there throughout a long shootout.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Clanton, at least as far as Roy Malcom is concerned.
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