Clay O'Mara, played by Audie Murphy, is a railroad surveyor and spends a great deal of time away from home. On his return from a surveying expedition he finds that his brother and father have been murdered by rustlers when they were stealing their cattle. Clay is bent on revenge despite the local Reverend (Denver Pyle) trying to talk him out of it, and gets little help from the unscrupulous lawyer Tom Meredith, played by William Pullen, or from the town sheriff Fred Kenyon, played by Paul Birch. Realising he needs some form of authority to seek out the killers, Clay takes a job of deputy sheriff. It's not long before sheriff and lawyer put the blame for the killings on Whitey Kincaid - a villain in Diablo. Their intention is to put Clay O'Mara off the scent of the real killers and also to send him up against Kincaid who is an experienced gunfighter. However, Clay is successful in arresting Whitey Kincaid and brings him back to town. The townsfolk are stunned as they fully expected Clay to come out the worst when attempting arrest. Clay and Whitey slowly form an uneasy relationship but both are still unsure of each other. Kincaid actually begins to like Clay against his better judgement and strives to protect him at every opportunity, and together they search for the real killers of Clay's brother and father. In the end, Whitey Kincade goes down shooting in a blaze of glory and the real murderers are brought to justice.
Ride Clear of Diablo is a classic style western with good leading actors and a strong supporting cast such as Jack Elam, Denver Pyle, Lane Bradford and Holly Bane. It's an entertaining film and considered to be a cut above the other B-movies of the time. Some of the action was filmed on location around Lone Pine.
Although Audie Murphy had top billing, the film was really that of Dan Duryea who plays the wise-cracking, laughing and smiling not-too-bad villain Whitey Kincaid.
Film and Movie Information
Ride Clear of Diablo was released by Universal in 1954 and was directed by Jesse Hibbs. The prncipal stars were Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea and Susan Cabot. The movie was filmed in Technicolor, in Alabama and California, USA.