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Calamity Jane & Sam Bass
Calamity Jane & Sam Bass   “A drifter comes to Denton, Texas,
  with no money and little prospects
  until he gets lucky betting at the town's
  annual horse race; but tragic events
  push him to the limit and, desperate for
  money to settle down, he winds up on
  the wrong side of the law in the Western
  adventure from 1949, Calamity Jane &
  Sam Bass

ON ARRIVAL IN DENTON, TEXAS, drifter Sam Bass (Howard Duff: Kramer vs Kramer) clashes with Sheriff Will Egan (Willard Parker) and falls in love with the Sheriff's sweet-natured sister Katherine (Dorothy Hart: The Naked City), who runs the store and who believes that her sister-in-law Lucy (Ann Doran) will help Sam as she runs her brother's ranch.

The town's annual horse race is about to begin and the famous Denton Mare is mooted as a dead cert to win. But Sam bumps into Calamity Jane (the sultry Yvonne De Carlo: The Ten Commandments), riding Thunderbolt, who — along with his rider — takes a shine to Sam. The famous wild frontierswoman offers him a job.

Calamity Jane
& Sam Bass
is a wonderful vintage
well cast and well
Broke and with the only apparent opportunity to get money thwarted, Sam decides to sign on to a cattle drive and is befriended by Joel Collins (a very youthful Lloyd Bridges) and cook Dakota (Honseley Stevenson). Jim Murphy (Norman Lloyd), the trail boss, and Link (Clifton Young) also accept Sam on the drive.

When Sam sees a blacksmith accidentally damaging The Denton Mare's hoof, he realises that Thunderbolt should win the race. Borrowing money, he bets on Thunderbolt and when the Denton Mare loses, he offers to buy her at a knock-down price so that he can race her and earn money to buy a ranch and settle down.

With big money at stake feelings run high and there are some who are determined not to lose — at any cost. A terrible tragedy and injustice results in Sam losing the race and further money he has borrowed, sending him into a black mood.

Sam is out for vengeance, ending up on the wrong side of the law along with his friends. Can he save himself and his friends, account for what he has done and get the girl? Or has he gone past the point of no return?

Calamity Jane & Sam Bass is a wonderful vintage Western, well cast and well paced. There is a lot to like about this 1940's movie, which is still a pleasure to watch.

Filmed in Utah, Calamity Jane & Sam Bass also features: Marc Lawrence as Dean; Milburn Stone (Dr Galen "Doc" Adams in Gunsmoke); John Rodney as Morgan; Roy Roberts as Marshal Peak; Charles Cane as J Wells; and Walter Baldwin (The Best Years of Our Lives; Cheyenne Autumn) as Dee Purdy.

Costumes are by Yvonne Wood; Music Arranged and Conducted by Milton Schwarzwald; Director of Photography is Irving Glassberg, ASC; Story by George Sherman; Associate Producer is Aaron Rosenberg; Produced by Leonard Goldstein; and Directed by George Sherman (Big Jake), winner of Western Heritage Award (1962) and the Golden Boot Award (1988).

* The Hollywood Classics/Universal Pictures Western Calamity Jane & Sam Bass is released on DVD in the UK, courtesy of Simply Media, on 18 April 2016. Certificate: PG | Year: 1949 | Running Time: 86 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number: 164452 | RRP: 12.99.

"As purty as Western scenery can be and the chases on horseback are dashing" ~ New York Times

"Calamity Jane & Sam Bass is a wonderful vintage Western, well cast and well paced" ~ Maggie Woods