Synopsis: Bob Corey, recovering from a series of operations in a Veterans' hospital, learns that his friend, Steve Connelly, with whom he intended to buy a ranch, has disappeared under circumstance that indicate he may have been involved in a murder. Accompanied by his nurse, Julie Benson, with whom he has fallen in love, Bob follows a series of clues and incidents, including three more murders, that leads to a gambler, masquerading as an undertaker to avoid taxes on his illegal income, has a whole lot to do with his friend's predicament.
Director(s): Vincent Sherman
Production: Warner Bros.
  1 nomination.
91 min


Oh, hello there.

- Hello, yourself.

- You got a minute?

Just about.

- Where's the cowboy?

- Over at the pool.

How is he?

Well, Steve,

these operations aren't any picnic.

Sure, sure, I know.

But I got the medicine for him.

Look at this ranch. Six hundred acres.

Good barns.

Ninety miles from Phoenix. Irrigation.

Another year of work to swell the kitty, you

add that to the VA loan, we're in business.

- You'll have to forget it.

- Forget it? What do you mean?

- He's going to pull out of this, isn't he?

- He'll pull out.

But he won't be able to go back

to rigging oil derricks...

...or working in lumber camps,

or anything like that.

He'll have to take it easy for a while.

- For how long?

- A year. Maybe more.

Hm. That's tough.

It'll be a lot tougher

if he has to come back here.


Well, that's that.

I'm sorry, Steve.

Have you told him?

I'll handle it.

Watch out, Jack.

- Hi, cowboy.


Hello, fellas.

- How you doing?

- Fine, fine.

Pull up a stretcher

and I'll tell you all about my operation.

That's what I hear. Lucky 10th, huh?

Anything new on the VA loan?

Answered a lot of questions.

Filled in a form.

- The old routine, huh?

- Yeah.

No matter how you slice it,

it's still the Army.

You know, I've been thinking,

maybe we're backing the wrong horse.

- How do you mean?

- Ranching. It's a risky business, Bob.

I've been talking to a lot of guys.

You buy yourself a place,

put your heart into it.

Maybe the market drops out

from under you.

There's a drought, or your steers

get foot rot.

You're back where you started from.

Besides, I've been thinking

of something else, a gas station, maybe.

- A gas station?

- What's wrong with that?

At least when you sell a gallon of gas

you get the cash right in your mitt.

Now look, Steve, for three years

we were holed up inside a stinking tank...

...and all that time dreaming about space.

Enough space to call a ranch.

For three more years we save every nickel

we can lay our hands on.

We read ourselves blind

about cattle, fodder, marketing.

You think I can blow all that out

my barracks bag overnight?

You're crazy.

You want a gas station, okay.

Me, I still want the ranch.

- That's what I said.

- Huh?

The smell of gas makes me sick.

You get out of this place

and we start ranching.

Hark! The herald angels sing

Merry Christmas.

Peace on earth and mercy mild

- Oh. Hello, Miss Benson.

- Good evening, doctor.

I thought you were off tonight.

Oh, I was, sir.

But Florence had a heavy day,

and I don't mind.

That's nice of you.

I'm sure the patient in number 12

won't mind either.

Well, he can stand

a little Christmas cheer.

- Is he still worried about that friend of his?

- I'm afraid so.

That's too bad.

See he has a good night's rest.

I ordered a hypo. Repeat if necessary.

Merry Christmas.

It came upon a midnight clear

That glorious song of old

From angels bending near the earth

To touch their harps of gold

Peace on the earth, goodwill to men

Steve. Steve. Steve!

Bob, what is it? What's the matter?


I just had a crazy dream.

It must have been.

Here, you lie back.

You sounded as though

you were being scalped.

Oh, we...

We'd gone fishing.

Steve and me. Up in the mountains.

Next thing I knew,

he was falling off a cliff.

I tried to throw him a parachute.

It was all cockeyed.

It just goes to show you, always take

a parachute when you go fishing.


- I don't suppose he's called?

- No, he hasn't.

Not even on Christmas Eve.

Julie, would you phone his hotel again?

I just called this morning.

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    "Backfire" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Dec. 2021. <>.

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