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The Frontier Phantom

The Frontier Phantom(1952)

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When U.S. Marshal Lash La Rue poses as his outlaw twin, The Frontier Phantom, in order to trap fugitive Sam Mantell, he and his deputy, Fuzzy Q. Jones, are arrested and brought to the local sheriff. Lash informs the sheriff that he is working undercover and must meet with Mantell in one hour, at midnight. Since Lash has no identification, the sheriff allows him the one hour to recount the story of how he captured the notorious McCord counterfeiting gang, for which Frontier once worked: McCord is keeping Mr. Evans and his daughter Jane captive and forcing them to engrave fake five dollar bills. When they escape, he sends Frontier, who is in love with Jane, to track them down. As Frontier and two other gang members chase down the Evanses, Lash and Fuzzy, who have come to infiltrate the gang, see them. With the help of his whip, Lash saves the Evanses and sends them to a neighboring ranch. He then captures two of the goons and learns the location of McCord's hideout from them, but loses Frontier. He leaves to check on the Evanses and, upon returning, finds only a note stating that Frontier has kidnapped Fuzzy and brought him to the hideout. Lash returns to the Evanses one more time but finds only Frontier. Facing his brother for the first time in years, Lash urges him to give up his life of crime, and reminisces about their murdered father. Frontier tells Lash that he could not get out of the gang now even if he wanted to, and demands a duel. When Lash agrees, however, Frontier cannot bear to take out his gun, and instead they fight. Lash knocks out Frontier and exchanges clothes with him to gain entrance to the hideout. There, he rescues Fuzzy, but the gang members immediately sense that he is not Frontier. McCord orders his men to watch "Frontier" closely, and they follow him when he tries to leave the area. Fuzzy sees this and rushes to help Lash, but by the time he arrives, the marshal has already tricked the goons and roped one of them. Lash asks Fuzzy to send a dust signal to round up a posse and returns to the hideout, where he is taken prisoner by McCord. Just then, the real Frontier Phantom appears and, announcing he has decided to join his brother, orders the gang to drop their guns. A gunfight breaks out, during which Frontier is wounded. Lash is almost overpowered when the posse, responding to the dust signal, arrives and helps round up the gang. Back in the present, the sheriff, still doubtful, agrees to let Lash meet Mantell at a nearby saloon, but states that the first man to flee the saloon will be shot. Everyone goes to the saloon, and as the clock strikes twelve, Mantell appears. Lash announces that he is a marshal and tries to take Mantell's gun, but the outlaw grabs Fuzzy and insists that Lash walk out of the saloon, hoping he will be shot by the sheriff. A gunfight breaks out, and when Mantell runs out of bullets, Lash punches him to the ground. The sheriff enters and is about to take Lash back into custody when he receives a telegram stating that Lash is, indeed, a marshal.