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Riding for Justice

Riding for Justice(1932)

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At the Peaceful Valley Ranch, Buck Randall, a fun-loving, carefree cowboy, gets into a fistfight over his refusal to eat snails. Buck is sent into town to order the ranch's winter supplies, but he first stops off at the Red Front Saloon, where he is popular with the establishment's girls. There he is told that a new marshal, Joseph Slyde, has been hired and has imposed a "no gun" rule in town. Deputy Marshal Alec Frame enters the saloon and orders Buck to turn over his gun, but the cowboy, showing off for the saloon girls, refuses to give his gun to the deputy. Frame, afraid to face Buck alone, rides to Slyde's home. The marshal is in the midst of an argument with his young, attractive wife Mary. Mary wants to go to the local masked ball, but Slyde refuses, saying it would be indecent. Mary tells Slyde that she feels imprisoned by their marriage. Frame arrives and tells Slyde about the new cowboy in town, adding that "no woman is safe" as long as Buck is around. Back at the saloon, Buck is playing the "Cinderella" game with the saloon girls when Slyde and Frame arrive. The cowboy and the marshal argue, and when Slyde tries to arrest Buck, he escapes on his horse, Silver. Buck rides to the Slyde home, then sends his horse off alone, with the lawmen in hot pursuit. At the Slyde home, Buck is recognized by Mary, and the two are immediately attracted to each other. Mary hides the cowboy in her closet when her husband and his deputy arrive. When Slyde goes back into town to form a posse to search for Buck, Frame makes a pass at Mary, who refuses his advances. After the deputy leaves, Buck and Mary decide to go together to the masked ball. Outside the ball, Buck tells Mary that he cannot see her again, as she is a married woman. Frame then arrives and attempts to force Mary to dance with him, but Buck knocks the deputy out. Back at the Slyde home, Mary tells Buck how terrible her life with Slyde is, as she married her husband as a way of escaping her step-father in Vermont. Buck then proclaims his love to Mary, and she tells him that she will return to Vermont and divorce Slyde so that they can be together. Buck gives her his gun as both a remembrance and protection. As Buck leaves the home, he hears a scream, then a gunshot, and he returns to find Frame dead and Mary holding his gun. Buck takes the gun from her just as Slyde and his posse arrive. Mary faints, and Slyde arrests Buck for murder and "worse." After Buck is taken to town to be jailed, Mary awakens and tells her husband that Frame was the attempted rapist, not Buck, and that she killed the deputy. She also tells her husband that she wants a divorce so that she can be with her true love, Buck. When Mary offers to tell all to a jury, Slyde tells his wife that he will handle the matter and sends her off to Vermont. The jealous Slyde then arranges a kangaroo court, which convicts Buck of Frame's murder. One of the cowboys from the Peaceful Valley Ranch learns of Buck's plight, and returns to the ranch for help. On their way to the rescue, the cowboys run into the departing Mary, and the group arrives just as Slyde prepares to lynch Buck. The judge arrives and listens to both sides, then fires Slyde and has him arrested, as it is discovered that he is the actual murderer of Frame. The judge then tries Buck on his original charge of assault and battery, finds the cowboy guilty, and fines him ten dollars. Buck and Mary ride off together, and make plans for a French honeymoon after Mary is divorced.