A Hard Stay in Hardesty
When a group of rowdy cowhands head to the bank in Hardesty they end up causing trouble when the owner refuses to cash their cheque and are on the verge of robbing the place when their trail boss Joe Bravo (James Stacy) steps in and stops them. It leads to Marshal Jim Crown (Stuart Whitman) arresting the entire gang along with Bravo when they arrive in Cimarron having heard of their escapades in the neighbouring town. Whilst Bravo is an old friend Jim knows he has had a dodgy past but decides his punishment will be to serve 90 days as Deputy Marshal in Hardesty. But it isn't going to be easy for Bravo as a judge with a vindictive streak decides to put the cowhands in jail for longer than Crowe recommends whilst a disgruntled cowhand has plans of their own.
So for those who aren't aware "The Judgement" is actually episode 15 of the 1960s western series "Cimarron Strip" which starred Stuart Whitman as Marshal Jim Crown who controlled things in Cimarron. But these episodes which come in between 60 and 90 minutes are frequently shown as stand alone movies here in the UK and they work as whilst we have a group of central characters who appeared in each episode there was no real storyline which spanned the series and instead each episode had their own individual story.
That brings me to "The Judgement" which serves up this entertaining storyline which sees a friend of Crown's with a dodgy past given a chance to go straight but having to go up against the criminals who were his friends. But this is elaborated on because we have the judge who causes trouble and the plans of the disgruntled former cowhand who plans to rob the bank. It makes for an interesting story with some surprising moments of depth especially when it comes to Jim's understanding of how troublesome cowhands need to be treated and how over punishment can just lead to rebellion and more trouble,
What this all boils down to is that "The Judgement" is not only another decent episode of "Cimarron Strip" but another episode which works remarkably well as a standalone movie with an entertaining performance from James Stacy lifting this.