The Mine Shaft Shift
After escaping on his way to jail, outlaw Tom Tanner (Forrest Tucker) comes across Andy Barclay (Randolph Scott), a mysterious man who keeps to himself that he is in fact a marshal as he expects Tanner to lead him to a haul of stolen gold. On the journey Barclay meets the pleasant Karen Galt (Dorothy Malone) who works on her father, Edward's (George Macready), horse ranch but he also follows Tanner up to a mine shaft where the stolen gold is hidden. But the outlaw and the marshal find themselves not alone and having to work together when a gang of outlaws show up at the mine shaft.
"The Nevadan" is one of those westerns where you get a feeling that the writer had a couple of good ideas up their sleeves but little else. And it means that whilst certain things in this western entertain the over all feeling you are left with is a western which ends up dragged out. Now in truth those ideas are not anything new as on one hand we have a lawman and an outlaw having to work together when they come under attack, whilst on the other we have the ranch owner who is secretly behind a lot of trouble due to the gang of thugs which he employs with even his daughter in the dark to what he is up to. As I said these things are not new but they are what "The Nevadan" ends up being built around.
Due to that feeling of being dragged out "The Nevadan" ends up reliant on its stars to keep things entertaining. Sadly whilst no one puts in a bad shift in this old western you get a strong feeling that the main stars were just going through the motions, delivering the same sort of mannerisms and ticks that they had played other characters with. What I am saying is that it is such a typical performance from Randolph Scott that it feels like he is on autopilot. It is the same elsewhere and whilst Dorothy Malone is visually distracting with her beauty her character is such a stereotype that it is forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "The Nevadan" ends up a completely stereotypical western which feels like the writers may have had a couple of ideas up their sleeves but nothing else. It means that whilst "The Nevadan" may distract a western fan it won't be one they will remember much about after they have finished watching it.