skip navigation
Code of the West

Code of the West(1947)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

In Ryson, Arizona, crooked saloon owner Boyd Carter and his henchmen, Saunders and Wescott, plot to rob and kill Eastern banker Stockton, who is headed for town with $30,000 in cash. As Saunders and Wescott attack Stockton's stagecoach, however, their gunfire is heard by Bob Wade and Chito Rafferty, wagon train guards, who then foil the robbery. Stockton, his grown daughter Ruth and son Harry are grateful to Bob and Chito and accept their invitation to join the wagon train to Ryson. On the trail that night, Bob tells Ruth that he and Chito are homesteaders, but are working as guards to earn money so they can make improvements on their land, as required by their one-year lease. In turn, Ruth explains that she and her father left St. Louis because the irresponsible Harry had fallen in with a rough crowd and was gambling excessively. Later, at his saloon, Carter learns about the failed robbery and is furious because he knows that Stockton will now be able to lend the homesteaders money, thereby spoiling his plan to take over their land and sell it to the railroad, which only he knows is coming through Ryson. He is also upset to hear that Bob and Chito are back in the area, as he particularly wants their Rainbow Valley land, which borders government-owned property. As soon as the wagon train arrives in Ryson, Carter offers to buy out Bob and Chito's option, but Bob declines, showing Carter his new lease papers. Feigning friendliness, Carter invites Bob and Chito to celebrate at his saloon, then orders Hatfield to ride to Rainbow Valley to destroy their claim. When Bob and Chito see Hatfield, Wescott and Saunders riding out of town, however, they become suspicious and follow them to Rainbow Valley. There, Bob and Chito catch the outlaws pulling up their land stakes, and after a brief gunfight, Bob beats and captures Hatfield. Later, in town, Carter "fires" Hatfield, while Bob's old friend, respected physician Doc Quinn, informs Bob that Carter has jumped other homesteaders' claims. Outraged, Bob confronts Carter in the saloon, warning him that he will shoot anyone trespassing on the homesteaders' land. Determined to prove himself to Carter, Hatfield draws his gun on Bob, but Bob gets a shot off first and kills him. The next day, Carter sees Stockton and Ruth riding toward Bob's place and, aware that the banker has been visiting other ranchers, orders Saunders to follow them. Saunders overhears Stockton telling Bob that he has bought out all of Carter's loans by offering the homesteaders a lower interest rate. Saunders reports back to Carter, who then instructs Milly, a saloon girl with whom Harry has become infatuated, to spy on Stockton in his office. There, Milly discovers that Bob and Chito have accepted Stockton's loan to purchase a herd of herefords and will be leaving town for two weeks to pick up the cattle. Taking advantage of Bob and Chito's absence, Carter arranges for his men to raid and set fire to the local ranches. When one ruined rancher claims that he can identify Saunders as a raider, Stockton, who has sent for a circuit judge, suggests that they use Saunders to get to Carter. Bob and Chito then return to town, but as Bob is making a citizen's arrest, Saunders jumps him, and he and Milly take Harry hostage in the stagecoach. Milly and Saunders reveal to a stunned Harry that they are married and are headed for California. Before they reach the border, Bob catches up to the coach and captures Saunders, who implicates Carter. When Bob returns to Ryson, Carter tries to flee, but Bob grabs him and, after a brawl, knocks him unconscious. Later, while woman-chasing Chito flirts with his sweetheart Pepita, Bob shows off his new cattle to Ruth, who reveals her desire to stay in Ryson and become his wife.