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Duel at Sundown Recap

A stagecoach arrives in Sundown and Carrie Christianson races them. They arrive in Sundown with the stagecoach in the lead, and Bret gets out and goes over to introduce himself, saying he didn't know Jed had a grown daughter. She offers him a ride and Bret accepts but insists on driving. As they go, Carrie says goodbye to a local cowboy, Red Harrigan. As they go out to the Christiansen ranch, Carrie asks Bret not to tell Jed that she was racing.

At the Molly-O Ranch, Dr. Baxter wheels Jed out in a wheel chair since Jed's leg was injured in a recent horse accident. Bret and Carrie arrive and Jed greets his friend Bret. Bret lies to cover for Carrie, saying she was waiting for him prim and lady like. They go in and Carrie wheels her father around the study. Bret says that he's staying until Thursday, and Jed is disappointed he won't be staying longer. Once Bret goes to his room, Baxter warns Jed that his plan won't work but Jed isn't convinced and offers a bet that Bret won't be on the stage on Thursday.

Later, Bret tells Jed that he's heading to Leadville to work up to the pig poker games. They have brandy and cigars, and Jed talks about what it means to have Bret there. Jed says that Bret would be safer going into Leadville with real money, and says that there's a minimum $500 game in Sundown and he'll stake him half. He admits that he doesn't want Bret to leave, and Bret agrees to play.

The next day, Bret is out riding. Carrie rides up and tells him that he picked her horse, and asks if he wants company going into Sundown. Bret reminds her that Jed told her not to go into town, and Carrie offers to race Bret into town. Later, Carrie goes to the house of her friend Suzie, who ushers Red in. Re and Carrie hug and Red asks about Bret. He wonders why Bret is there and Carrie explains why she's there. She figures that Red is jealous, but Carrie denies it. Red figures that if they get married Jed will throw her out and figures they should wait to get married, and they kiss.

At the saloon, Bret plays poker. Later, he and Carried ride back to the Molly-O and Carrie claims that her horse may have picked up a pebble. She checks it, sees Red following them, and suggests they go to a stream to get a drink. Bret accepts, and Carrie tells him that he's wasting his time. Carrie figures that Jed is trying to set up Bret up with Carrie but says that he's resistible. She explains that she's in love with Red and plans to marry him, and that Jed kept Bret there to sweep her off her feet. Carrie notes that Red doesn't have any money, and Bret says that at least he owes Jed the effort.

Red rides up and Carrie kisses Bret. She then tells him not to take it poorly but she finds him resistible. Bret doesn't believe it and kisses her as Red looks on. After a moment, Carrie says that they should go home.

Back at the Molly-O, Bret pays Jed his share of his winnings. He says that he's going to move on as he planned because he found out why Jed wants him to stay. Jed finally admits that he was desperate, and Red is a worthless coward and a bully. Red has Carrie fooled, and Jed hoped that Carrie meeting a "real man" like Bret would change her mind. They go inside and Jed says that if his wife Molly had lived, she would have taught Carrie to recognize a no-good like Red.

Later the two men have cigars and Jed offers Bret $1,000 on three games of Maverick solitaire. Bret agrees at 5 to 1 odds, but notes that he doesn't have $5,000 and doesn't intend to owe Jed so he'll just have to win. Jed deals out the cards and Bret loses. The ranch hand says that if Bret stays on until Thursday, he'll drop the bet. Bret agrees and they shake on it.

The next day, Bret and Carrie ride into town so Carrie can go shopping. Red watches Bret go and then approaches Carrie. Bret goes to the saloon and is playing with Baxter and others when Red comes in and introduces himself. He tells Bret that he's jealous man and asks Bret to leave on the stage the next day. Baxter and the others look at Bret, and Bret tells Red that he's staying another week. Red warns that he's likely to do something against his will and Bret tells him that he'll think it over. Once Red leaves, Baxter warns Bret that Red has killed two men and is mean.

Later, Jed and Carrie ride into town. Red greets them and helps unload Jed's wheelchair. Jed insists that he doesn't need it but stumbles, and decides to use the wheelchair together. He has Carrie push him to the bank, and Red's friend Al tells him that Bret won't be on the stage. Red tells the driver to wait and goes into the saloon to tell Bret that he's leaving town. Bret punches Red in the gut and tosses away his gun, and the two men brawl. They end up on the street, and Carrie and Jed see the fight. Bret finally drops Red, and Baxter has the townspeople take Red to his office. Carrie runs after Red despite Jed's protestations.

Later at the ranch, Jed visits Bret and says that Bret had better clear out. Bret tells him that he'd rather work of the debt, and Jed admits that he switched decks on him. The gambler admits that he'd do the same thing in Jed's position, but refuses to go without collecting the $1,000 Jed was going to pay him to stay. Bret goes outside and Carrie rides up. She complains that Bret hit Red when he wasn't looking, and warns that the next time Red will have a gun in his hand. Carrie tells him to ride out of Sundown and he doesn't want her future husband killing him. Bret says that he's involved in a big business deal and Carrie storms into the house.

Baxter finishes tending to Red, who says that he's going to bring him some business. Bret comes into the next room to pick up his poker winnings, and Baxter hides him in the closet. Red comes out and Baxter gives him some painkillers. Once Red leaves, Baxter tells Bret that Red is gunning for him. He takes Bret out to the back alley and drops a pie tin. It hits the ground before Bret can shoot it, and Baxter has Bret watch while he tests Red's hand easily shooting the pie tin repeatedly before it this the ground.

Later, Bret and Baxter go into the saloon where Bret is. Bret asks for his poker winnings, and Red tells him that he won't be needing it. He challenges Bret to a gunfight, and Bret reveals that his right hand is bandaged. Baxter says that it will take at least a week, and Red gives him until Monday when Bret is leaving on Thursday.

Later, Red meets with Lily and says that he knows all about Jed's plan. Al arrives and tells Red that Carrie wants to meet him at Suzie's. Once Al leaves, Red and Lily kiss. Lily bets him that he'll continue seeing her after he marries Carrie. Red says that he won't, but Lily doesn't believe him and they kiss again before Red goes.

Red meets with Carrie and she asks him not to kill Bret. He wonders why Carrie is so concerned about Bret. Suzie comes in and says that Jed is there, and tells Red to go out the back way. Red figures that Jed is coming there to see him and waits. Jed comes in and tells Red that he never saw him work. He asks who takes care of Red, and Red says that he's ready to settle down. Jed tells him that Bret is his friend and Red should leave him alone, and Carrie says that Bret is a coward having Jed come there to plead his case. The older man tells Red that he's a coward, and Red grabs him and prepares to punch him. Carrie objects, and Jed says that the sooner Red gets rid of him, the sooner he'll get the Molly O. Red tells Jed that he has him wrong, says that Bret started all of it, and leaves.

Once they're alone, Carrie tells Jed that Red doesn't want to go. Jed says that Red wants the Molly O more than he wants her, but Carrie insist that she loves Red and is going to marry him... and then leaves.

Baxter finds Bret at the saloon playing poker and tells him to leave Sundown. John Wesley Hardin is heading to Sundown and looking for Bret. Red looks on as Bret says that he never thought Hardin would track him down, and Bret says that he played against Hardin and he's a bad loser. Bret figures that he should stop running and fight, and unwraps his bandaged hand. The sheriff refuses to get involved in a fair fight and dismisses Hardin as a man with a beg reputation. A local comes in and says that Hardin is waiting for Bret outside.

Bret goes out onto the street, and Carrie and Jed are there. Red and his cronies go out to watch, Hardin and Bret walk toward each other, and Bret outdraws Hardin and kills him, fanning his gun three times. Red figures that it was an accident, and Baxter confirms that Bret shot Hardin through the heart all three times. Bret carries Hardin into Baxter's office, and Bart--posing as Hardin--complains that Bret was too rough on him. Baxter covers him over before anyone looking through the windows sees that he isn't dead. Bret goes out and asks where Red is, saying he should take care of him while he's in the mood. Red is nowhere to be seen, and the townspeople laugh.

On Thursday, Jed pays Bret off. Jed notes that "Hardin" looks a lot like Bart. Bret advises Jed to never fan a gun and shows him the lead he took out of the bullets. As Bret goes, Carrie thanks him for showing her the truth. She offers him her horse and says that he doesn't have to get it back because it's a present. Bret kisses her and rides off. Down the road, Bret meets up with Bart and gives him half of the $1,000 for playing along. The real Hardin rides up and asks for directions to Sundown, asking who shot Hardin. He says that he's eager to meet up with Bret. Bret gives him directions and once Hardin leaves, Bart and Bret quickly ride off.

Written by Gadfly on Nov 24, 2019

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