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The Bounty Hunter (1954 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bounty Hunter
Directed byAndre DeToth
Written by
Produced bySamuel Bischoff
CinematographyEdwin B. DuPar
Edited byClarence Kolster
Music byDavid Buttolph
Transcona Enterprises Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • September 22, 1954 (1954-09-22)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Bounty Hunter is a 1954 American western film directed by Andre DeToth and starring Randolph Scott, Marie Windsor and Dolores Dorn. It was the last of six Randolph Scott westerns with DeToth and the first film to feature a bounty hunter as its hero. It was released by Warner Bros. It was filmed in 3-D but released in standard format, though a 3-D print exists in the Warner archives. Stock footage from the 1952 film Carson City is used at the beginning of the film.[1] Portions of the film were shot on location in California at Red Rock Canyon and the Mojave Desert.[2]

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  • The Bounty Hunter 1954 title sequence
  • The Bounty Killer (1965) - A Classic Western Movie | Full-Length Feature Film | Free to Watch



A prologue explains the role of the bounty hunter. A wanted criminal named Burch tries to ambush bounty hunter Jim Kipp, but Kipp gets the better of him. Kipp takes Burch's corpse into town to collect the reward. A representative of the Pinkerton Detective Agency asks Kipp to hunt a trio of fugitives. Three masked men committed a robbery and fled with $100,000. Kipp, who has the reputation that he will do anything for money, is offered a huge reward if he can capture the culprits dead or alive.

Kipp rides into the town of Twin Forks, and uses an alias. He seeks information about one fugitive's wounds from Dr. Spencer, who is wary of revealing too much. Kipp is immediately attracted to the doctor's daughter, Julie. A limping man named Bill Rachin, who works at the hotel, draws Kipp's suspicion. So does George Williams, a card dealer. Williams' wife, Alice, flirts with Kipp and tries to coax information out of him. Kipp does not reveal the purpose for his visit.

Vance Edwards identifies Kipp and his reputation as a bounty hunter. Edwards mistakenly believes Kipp is seeking him for another crime. The townspeople become anxious as the truth about Kipp becomes known. Led by the postmaster, Danvers, they offer Kipp a bribe to leave town. Kipp tells several people that he is expecting a package on the next day's stagecoach and in the package is a likeness of one of the robbers. Dr. Spencer later overhears Kipp telling his daughter the same thing and he becomes worried.

Dr. Spencer confronts Williams, who he knows to be associated with the robbers, and demands a meeting with them. Williams tells Spencer the three are playing poker and agrees to take him to their game but shoots Spencer instead. Hearing the shot, Kipp pursues and corners Williams. He tries to force Williams to tell what he knows about the robbery, but Sheriff Brand shoots Williams dead just as Williams was about to reveal information about the robbery. Danvers tries to smother the seriously wounded Spencer, but he is discovered by Julie. Kipp hears Julie's screams and rushes to her; Danvers flees. Kipp follows Danvers as he hastily leaves town and stops when he loses sight of Danvers but hears someone digging in the hills. He then hears a shot and finds Danvers dead next to an empty money box.

Kipp now knows Danvers was one of the three robbers. The next day the stage arrives with the U.S. mail. The sheriff deputizes Rachin and plans to get rid of the bounty hunter. Vance rescues Kipp, grateful that the bounty hunter is not after him. Kipp opens one of the letters in the mail pouch and looks at the contents, then looks at the sheriff and says, “Your likeness.” The sheriff reveals himself as one of the robbers when he pulls a gun on Kipp, but Alice Williams kills him. She explains that Brand deserved it for shooting her husband. Julie, who had been watching, struggles with Alice for her gun and Kipp subdues Alice. Kipp realizes that Alice is the third robber. He searches her saddle bag and finds the stolen money. Kipp decides to settle in Twin Forks. He marries Julie, and becomes the new town sheriff.[3]


Blonde Delores Dorn fights brunette Marie Windsor in this foreign language movie poster.

Production notes

Critics responded favorably to DeToth's skills as a director, especially his ability to seamlessly integrate 3-D effects into the picture as well as for his long tracking shots filmed on location. Unlike other films of the early 50s that were shot in color, The Bounty Hunter's color photography still shows well to more modern audiences.[4]

Winston Miller's screenplay included notable dialog such as Kipp explaining that as a lawman without a badge, he could enforce the law but "not wanting to break up fights or throw drunks in jail." When asked by the town sheriff why he became a bounty hunter, Kipp counts his cash reward, replying, "I'm counting the reasons, and they're ten short".[5] Another scene features Julie, whose father is a doctor, criticizing Kipp's gun in comparison to her father’s medical instruments, saying it’s not a “stethoscope”, causing Kipp to caustically remark, “No, but properly used it can be very good for the human race.”[6]

Near the movie's conclusion, Julie and Alice fight over a gun. Although much of the fight was omitted from the film's final edit, pre-release publicity described it as "...blonde Delores Dorn and brunette Marie Windsor stage their own hair-pulling, scratching, swinging scrimmage."[7] DeToth allegedly filmed the scene in one take, without a rehearsal, and encouraged the women to actually fight each other. At the end of the fight, both women were covered with dirt and perspiration.[8] One reviewer noted that the studio described it as one of the most "fiercely fought" fights between two women ever filmed.[9]

Contemporary critics have pointed out that Kipp's marriage to Julie, played by Dolores Dorn who was 36 years his junior, seems unusual to current movie audiences.[10] The Bounty Hunter was Dorn's screen debut.[2]


  1. ^ [1] Archived July 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "THE BOUNTY HUNTER". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "THE BOUNTY HUNTER". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  4. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (2013). Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films, 2d ed. McFarland & Company. p. 483. ISBN 978-0-7864-6372-5. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  5. ^ Howard Hughes (2008). Stagecoach to Tombstone: The Filmgoer's Guide to Great Westerns. I.B. Tauris. p. 105. ISBN 978-1845115715.
  6. ^ Mills, Travis (April 18, 2022). "Western Movie Reviews – Week 154 – The Bounty Hunter". Running Wild Films. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  7. ^ "Good Fight "Makes" Film, Actor Says". The Knoxville Journal. September 6, 1953. p. 43. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Girls Hair-Pulling, Kicking Battle Smashed Marquis of Queensbury Rules". The Tennessean. August 22, 1954. p. 55. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  9. ^ "The Bounty Hunter". The News-Item. Shamokin News-Dispatch. October 8, 1954. p. 5. Retrieved June 5, 2022.
  10. ^ "The Bounty Hunter". The Movie Scene. Retrieved June 5, 2022.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 November 2023, at 20:22
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