The Moonlighter

The Moonlighter is a 1953 American 3D Western film directed by Roy Rowland and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. Distributed by Warner Bros., it premiered alongside the 1953 Looney Tunes 3-D Bugs Bunny cartoon, Lumber Jack-Rabbit and the 3-D Lippert short, Bandit Island.

The Moonlighter
Directed byRoy Rowland
Produced byJoseph Bernhard
Screenplay byNiven Busch
Story byNiven Busch
StarringBarbara Stanwyck
Fred MacMurray
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyBert Glennon
Edited byTerry O. Morse
Production
company
Joseph Bernhard Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • September 19, 1953 (1953-09-19)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$1 million (US)[1]

Plot

Wes Anderson has been "moonlighting," rustling cattle at night under the moon. A lynch mob led by rancher Alex Prince accidentally hangs the wrong man due to a mixup from a cell change during a jail cleaning. Wes escapes.

Rela, his former sweetheart, after a 5 year absence by Wes, is now involved with Wes' younger brother Tom, who works in a bank. Tom has always admired Wes. Wes seeks vengeance on the lynch party and begins killing some of Prince's hands who lynched the innocent man.

Tom is fired at the Rio Hondo bank by Mott, his boss. Cole Gardner, an outlaw, persuades Wes to rob the bank, and Tom decides to join them. Rela angrily warns Wes that if any harm comes to Tom, she will hold him responsible.

During the robbery, Wes and Cole get away with the money but Tom is shot by his former boss. A posse is formed and Rela demands to be deputized and bring back Wes dead or alive. Cole double-crosses his partner, taking the money and leaving Wes tied up. When Cole encounters Rela on the trail, she outflanks and shoots Cole and then finds Wes tied up, taking him prisoner.

On the way back to town, Rela slips in a waterfall and nearly drowns. Wes saves her life. Ashamed of his ways, Wes offers to ride back to town alongside Rela to turn himself in to the law and accept his fate and asks Rela to wait for him.

Cast

References

  1. 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
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