COLT .45. Warner Brothers, 1950. Randolph Scott, Ruth Roman, Zachary Scott, Lloyd Bridges, Alan Hale, Ian MacDonald, Chief Thundercloud. Screenwriter: Thomas W. Blackburn. Director: Edwin L. Marin.

   One of Alan Hale’s last films, alas, and I wish I could say it was a good one, not that either Alan Hale nor leading man Randolph Scott were at fault, nor Ruth Roman, radiantly beautiful in a Technicolor western.

   Scott plays a salesman named Steve Farrell traveling the west to sell the newly designed repeating Colt .45’s. His target buyers are lawmen who desperately need them to keep the unlawful elements of their territories at bay. Unfortunately, the fatal error on the part of one sheriff allows a pair of the guns to fall into the hands of a notorious outlaw (Zachary Scott), who then uses them on a spree of killing and robbing, while Farrell spends the next few months in jail.

   It’s quite a mixup, and not a very believable one, nor is the rest of the story, which continues with Farrell’s release from jail, vowing to track down the man who stole his guns. Zachary Scott always made a good villain, but someone let him pull out all the stops here, leering and spouting eye-bulging vitriol at anyone who dares cross his path, including members of his own gang.

   One of whom is played by Lloyd Bridges, whose acting in this film is barely above that of an amateur in high school — or it could be the dialogue he is forced to say while trying his best not to be embarrassed by it. Bridges’ wife is portrayed by Ruth Roman, who gradually begins to realize the truth about her husband.

   One twist I didn’t see coming involves Alan Hale’s character, a sheriff with ulterior motives, and I dare not say more about that. It isn’t a big part, so I’d have to say that the only two reasons for watching this otherwise mediocre western are Randolph Scott, who could play any good guy in a western and make it convincing without half trying, and lovely Ruth Roman.