Feuding at the Cattle Ranch
Like many a cattle rancher Tom (Robert Sterling) has found himself plagues with cattle rustlers and his livelihood is under threat from his stock going missing. When Tom's law break brother Kid Wichita (Robert Preston) shows up and immediately has an effect when he deals with some rustlers it not only leads to the local law trying to force the Kid to leave but for Tom to keep him around as maybe his tough no nonsense approach is needed. But when the Kid murders another it leads to Tom questioning whether he is right to have him around especially as there is a growing number looking to hunt him down and get rid of him one way or another.
I started watching "Thunder in the Dust", which also goes by the name of "The Sundowners", three times and each time I found myself easily distracted by other things. It wasn't because I was feeling particularly unfocused each time I went to watch it but because each time the movie quite simply failed to deliver anything to grab and hold my attention. From cattle rustling to the sheriff being pushed around by his father who is opposed to having a killer in the area it is all incredibly ordinary. It doesn't mean that "Thunder in the Dust" is a bad movie but it has little in the way of excitement and drama for those looking for some of the western kind.
In fairness Robert Preston as the bad guy who also does good is quite entertaining whilst Cathy Downs is in a typical 1950s western way a pleasant distraction although doesn't end up with a great deal to do. But whilst Preston is good, all the characters in "Thunder in the Dust" are typical and it adds to the issue with the movie not really being an attention grabber or keeper.
What this all boils down to is that "Thunder in the Dust" is not a bad western but at the same time it isn't a good one which means for those who like an exciting western might find themselves struggling to keep interested in it.