They Called Him Gringo
(The Man From Dakota)
Director: Roy Rowland
Screenplay: Clarke Reynolds and Helmut Harun
Camera: Mel Merino
Sets: Jürgen Kiebach
Editing: Fred Srp
Music: Heinz Gietz
Asst. Director: F. G. May
Production assistant: Horant Hohlfeld
Production manager: Horst Backwinkel
Head of Production: Franz Thierry
Producer: Dr. Alfons Carcasona
All hell breaks out in the Black Mountains of Dakota!
Huge herds of cattle disappear over night; wagons laden with silver ore crash down into ravines; people are being murdered.
The sheriff of the small town Silver Springs where the Walton Freighting Company is located and to which the ore wagons belong, is not just an old man, but powerless. The attacks take place outside of his sphere of jurisdiction.
Walton calls for the district sheriff but receives no reply. He thereupon decides to go and fetch help himself from the district capital. But the stage coach never reaches its destination. Walton is shot dead.
The leader of the robbery and murder gang is called Gringo. The lawyer Ken Denton has hired him. Just for disguise, Gringo and the other bandits are pretending to be cow-boys down at the ranch of the old, handicapped Sam Martin whose manager he is. Ken Denton pays well for the crimes which Gringo and his gang commit.
He wants to ruin Sam Martin in order to get revenge for his father who was killed by Sam many years previously in the fight for land. That is the reason why he has the cattle herds driven away, that is the reason for the crashing of the ore wagons in the ravine and the killing of the driver.
And Denton still has a trump-card in his hand: Sam Martin was deserted by his wife 20 years ago. She took her only son with her. Sam commissioned Denton to investigate the whereabouts of his heir. And he knows who and where Sam’s son is. But he does not intend yet to give away his secret.
A second plan keeps Denton busy too: he wants to buy up the Walton Freighting Company which has been ruined by the loss of the wagons and if possible he wants Wal-ton’s daughter Lucy too....
That is when Mace turns up in the town, a rough yet pleasant chap. Gringo and his gang soon find themselves at odds with him. But Mace shows them who is stronger and the cleverer. When the old sheriff is shot dead, the men of Silver Springs decide that Mace should be his successor. He accepts the job only reluctantly. Ken Denton feels that he will be a tough opponent also in the struggle for Lucy whose inclination towards Mace is quite apparent even though he does absolutely nothing to encourage her.
Mace has to find out who has shot the sheriff. He is sure that a member of Gringo’s gang is the culprit but he still has no proof. The murderer has apparently wounded in the exchange of fire. He finds the proof out at Sam Martin’s farm. Tiny, one of the outlaws, has an injured shoulder. The new sheriff follows Tiny, who on Denton’s orders has to be got rid of by Gringo and Reno. He stops the three bandits and manages to take Tiny tied up back into town. When Denton tries to claim that the arrest is illegal on the grounds that the local sheriff made the arrest outside his area of jurisdiction, Mace pulls out from his bootleg the golden star providing that he is a district sheriff.
Ken Denton appears to be beaten. Full of anger at his defeat he gets drunk. The alcohol loosens his tongue and he reveals to his girlfriend Kate that Gringo is the son of Sam Martin. His revenge will only be complete after Gringo has shot his own father!
Gringo is an unwilling witness to this admission. It comes to a fight between the two men. Denton shoots down Gringo and leaves quickly. But the wound is not serious. Gringo rides together with Mace out to Sam’s ranch because he suspects that his father is in danger. The ranch is already under the control of Ken and his bandits. Under the fire cover of Martin and his men, Mace and Gringo manage to enter the house. During the shoot-out, old Sam discovers that Gringo is his son.
But Gringo dies. A bullet from one of the bandits wounds him fatally. The arrival of a whole group of men from the town joined also by Lucy, end the battle decisively. But Mace still has to deal with Denton. Denton pushes Lucy in front of him for protection, but he has no chance he has to die.
Mace takes his leave of Lucy. But he promises her to come back again, in fact very soon. The reason is, he has comprehended that one can feel good in Silver Springs. And after all, a man has to know eventually where he belongs.