Director: Andrew V. McLaglen. Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Herb Meadow (creator)
PERRY COOK as Dobie O’Brien. DENVER PYLE as McKay
HARRY CAREY JR. as Sheriff. KEN CURTIS as Curley
PAUL SORENSEN as 1st Posseman (as Paul Sorenson)
WILLIAM WELLMAN JR. as 2nd Posseman (as Bill Wellman Jr.)
HAL NEEDHAM as 3rd Posseman
You’re like men killing a rabbit with clubs.
The more it squeals and runs, the harder you beat at it.
I want you to think.
Lookin’ for something, Mister?
Now, I suggest you point that gun at me, or someplace else.
One of the two.
No- no hard feelings, I was taking a nap over there in the grass.
You kind of startled me.
Wonder if you could point out the best trail to me?
Understand the old trail to Santa Fe goes through here.
Ah, you come a long way?
Ah, guess you passed through town back there a bit?
No, I came in from the north.
Ah, getting kind of late. You ought to bed down right here.
You’d miss that old trail in the dark.
This here is wild grass. Won’t find no better feed for your animal in 100 miles.
That old pinto of mine, he won’t eat nothing else.
I ran into a bunch of horsemen about 12 miles back.
Headin’ this way?
Bunch of my friends, I’ve been trying to join up with ’em. Say, you ain’t got some idea they’re looking for me?
Well, the possibility had occurred to me.
Ha, I guess that ought to change your mind, huh?
I’ll give you a hand setting up camp while I wait for them.
You got the makings, I sure would like some hot java.
You’ll find dry wood under the tree there.
Look, just ’cause two strangers meet, they don’t got to be suspicious of each other.
Now, I gave you my gun. Offered to help with your stuff.
Look, I’m trying to maybe make a friend, that’s all.
Is… Is there something wrong with that?
I’ll go build a fire.
Ha, only got two hands. Just put it up under the tree. Hah, that’s mighty good trail chow.
Lucky I run into you. Yes, siree. Mighty lucky. Truth is, I planned it just this way.
Well, I figured if I helped you with your gear, you’d furnish the grub.
I was mighty hungry. ‘course, being hungry ain’t nothing new to me.
Been riding sort of a bad luck trail all my life. Kicked around by folks. Cheated.
Listen. Hm. Posse. Figured they’d make it before dark.
I guess I should’ve told you something. I killed a man and woman this morning.
That’s what I’m really waiting here for. I wanted to give myself up.
Well, why were you so anxious to keep me here?
Well, I figured you’d keep ’em from stringing me up. They’re riding kind of excited.
All right, mister, who are you?
My name’s paladin.
Help! Mckay! Sheriff! Grab him!
You better freeze, cowboy.
He killed the Willis family. Trailed him in from the south, but he got the drop on me.
Now, that is so obviously a lie, I…
Shut up. Somebody untie Dobie.
Funny thing, Dobie. We was half-way looking for you.
I always get the blame, don’t I?
Better grab his gun.
Drop the carbine, cowboy.
You got a badge on that vest. You in charge of this…?
You been told to shut up, ain’t you? You better drop your gun belt, Mister.
Folks here a little excited. You’ll get your chance to talk, I promise you.
His carbine’s the same caliber that killed the willises.
Well, that’s just fine, except that’s not my gun…
I warned you!
Hold it, curley!
Hold on nothing! Look what he did to me!
Hold it, you gonna kill him!
Well, ain’t that what we come out here for?
That’s enough, curley. Mckay, curley, all of you. This is a legal posse, you hear?
And it’s gonna be run that way.
Sure, sheriff, we understand that.
You better tie him up.
If that’s all right with you?
Well, might as well play it safe.
We’re gonna string him up, ain’t we?
Don’t know, dobie. That depends on what you got on him.
Drag him up under that tree. Mckay?
We’re just gonna ask him a few questions. Right again?
As long as we don’t make no mistakes.
Well, that’s what I’m here for. See that you don’t.
All right, Dobie. Go ahead.
Well, I was coming in from the south, stopped to water my horse at the Willis’s place.
Found him and his wife dead. He used a knife on ’em before he shot ’em.
Yeah, we seen ’em, too. He made ’em tell where they hid their money.
Ought to do the same to him.
Yeah, or worse.
You can drop that kind of talk. How come you didn’t ride straight into town, Dobie?
Well, you know me, sheriff.
Yeah, I know you. That’s why I’m asking questions.
Well, simple as ‘tato pie, I saw his tracks and I followed him.
I knew you folks would get a posse up.
I didn’t want him to get out of the county.
Good thinking, dobie.
Dobie always was a foxy one.
Ha! So foxy, we started out looking for him.
Our mistake, dobie.
Well, like I say, I would’ve had him, too. But he got the drop on me.
Just look at him, there, sitting. Watching us.
Why don’t you admit it to ’em, like you did to me?
I promised you a chance to talk, Mister. You better take it while you can.
Why’d you kill the willises?
Guilty until proven innocent? That it, sheriff?
I’ll close that smart mouth of his!
There’ll be plenty of time for that. Where’s his gear?
Right over there.
Go through it, curley.
Just like we figured. Part of old Willis’s savings.
Five or six hundred dollars. Where’d you hide the rest of it?
Would you like me to give you the name of the bank I drew that money out of?
Or is fact admissible, according to your rules of evidence?
The prosecutor has an objection, sheriff. Sustained or overruled?
That kind of talk ain’t gonna help you, mister.
What is gonna help me? A false confession?
I know ways of making him talk.
We ought to take him into town. Give him a fair hearing.
We ain’t got time for that. Cattle buyer’s waiting, and we all got cattle to move.
We ain’t on salary like you, sheriff.
Let’s do what we got to do.
Hey, maybe this’ll help us make up our minds.
All right, Perc.
Gunman. Figures, don’t it?
Take a cold-blooded killer to do what he did to the Willises.
An innocent man would be begging now, Mister.
So would a guilty one. You ever see men armed with clubs go after a rabbit?
What do you mean?
The more the rabbit runs and screams and tries to get away, the harder they beat at it.
No, I’d rather give this gathering a chance to do some thinking.
There’s two sides to everything, Mister. We’d like to hear yours. Ain’t that right, McKay?
There any more of that coffee left?
Yes, sir, Mr. Mckay.
Tuck that loose end away. The last one you made nearly didn’t do the job.
Hey, that’s right…
Second time in two years you went and caught a killer.
That’s okay, I ain’t looking for no credit.
Ain’t you, now? That’s a laugh. You’ll be bragging all over town tonight.
We better hurry this up.
I don’t like this way of doing it.
Well, I ain’t moving into town.
We’d have the same men on the jury there.
There’s a difference.
He’s just got you nervous.
If he was down on his knees, crying and begging,
This whole thing would go faster.
Wise words, sheriff. A good lynching needs tears and screams and terror.
The more excitement, the less thinking.
Big talk for a killer.
The ideal victim is mentally or emotionally ill.
‘course, the professional hangman will get the first chance at him.
Lynchers have to be content with people that are merely a little bit different.
Little people, the weaker they are the better.
We have to listen to him?
You shut up, too! I’m running this.
And in anger, our lips shall form the truth. Erodius, the second essay.
Be better if she was waxed.
Mister, please. Haven’t you got something to say?
Not to you, sheriff. Only to the man who admits he’s in charge here.
And only when he’s ready to listen.
Let’s get this thing over with.
Ain’t got all day.
Here, let me do it. I thought you were gonna be more trouble.
Look, Mister, we got a bottle. You want a drink?
Well, for luck, kinda.
Ready, Mr. McKay.
All right, Sheriff, have him speak his peace.
He said he wants you to ask him, McKay.
He wants to make sure you’re listening.
Maybe he should know a few things about us.
Mister, it wasn’t easy opening up this land of ours. First week I was here, somebody poisoned my watering hole. And I got a boy buried on my place to prove it.
After we cleaned out the mountain cats to save our stock, there was the Indians, and then the Outlaws. And it wasn’t the law that done that.
Lot of hard work. Sweat. A few guns. Couple of ropes.
If you think we’re gonna turn all this over to somebody that’s too weak or
lazy to make a go at ranching, You’re mistaken. Sheriff’s got a gun.
And if he’s man enough to carry on what we’ve started,
I’ll be more than glad to turn it over to him.
I ain’t got no quarrel with you, McKay.
That’s why we got more faith in trees than courthouses. You understand?
I understand, McKay. This is your apology to yourself.
You got wax in your ears? I’m saying we’re good people doing what we got to do.
What we do is good.
And his third essay, Erodius said, “we can contend with the evil that men do in the name of evil, but heaven protect us from what they do in the name of good.”
Let’s string him up!
Let’s quit wasting time. Everybody settle down!
I’m accusing you of killing the Willises.
Are you asking me for a statement?
All right. I am. Go ahead, man. Speak up.
Thank you. Now, what were you doing when I rode up? Hiding the money?
That won’t work. He overheard you started out looking for me.
And why they started out looking for you, I’d like to know.
You must have a very interesting reputation.
You say this is a crafty man? That a good word for him? Crafty?
Is he the kind of a man who’d fight, Or would he run?
Would he shift the blame to somebody else?
That’s Dobie, alright.
We all know what kind of a man Dobie is. Right now, we’re interested in you.
If you can see through your anger, the signs are all around you.
Take a look at that gun in my holster. Hand-crafted. Balanced. Polished.
Would a man who carries a weapon like that also carry a rusty old carbine?
That fire you heated your coffee on.
Would a murderer stop to camp only a few miles from his crime?
And most important of all, did you think to backtrack my trail?
Which way did the hoof prints lead?
You think we’re stupid? We already done that.
This here animal came in from the south.
That’s not my horse.
I’m glad to hear you say that. ’cause that horse was stolen from perc three days ago.
And we swing ’em for horse stealing, too.
Well, match my blanket and the saddle to the sweat marks on that horse.
And see if they match.
Where’s his saddle?
You admit that this is your saddle?
Tell you in five seconds which horse he rode in on.
Mount him up.
Get the leg over. Let her go!
Get him, curley!
You gotta hold the hammer back. The spring’s broke!
Get up here and fire it!
How come Dobie knows that?
Looks like we nearly hung the wrong man.
Hold him here. Get some slack.
I hope they catch him, McKay. ’cause when they bring him back, I wanna see what
you got to say to him.
Untie him. He’s innocent. It was Dobie, like we thought in the first place.
Figured you had enough of this place.
So I saddled up your horse for you.
It was our mistake, mr. Paladin.
We had no way of…
I was heading for Santa Fe. You point out the old trail to me?
Sure. Ride southeast about three miles. Turn off at the first arroyo.
You can’t miss it.
Mister, help me!
And Dobie O’Brien?
Mister, help me!
Please, mister, you know how it feels!
You found out what kind of a man I am, Mr. Paladin.
I guess it all depends on whether or
not McKay learned a lesson from this.
I’m sorry about you.
Just you remember, what you do here today,
You’ll live with the rest of your life.
you know how it feels!
whoa, boy. Whoa.
Get him up there.
Heaven help us from what
men do in the name of good.