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The Fighting Marshal (1931)

Tim Benton and Red Larkin escape from prison together before Tim learns he has been pardoned. His one desire is to return to Silver City and rob the mine payroll,which rightfully belongs to... See full summary »


D. Ross Lederman


Frank Howard Clark (story), Frank Howard Clark (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


Cast overview:
Tim McCoy ... Tim Benton
Dorothy Gulliver ... Alice Wheeler
Mary Carr ... Aunt Emily
Matthew Betz ... Red Larkin
Pat O'Malley ... Deputy Ed Myers
Edward LeSaint ... Warden Decker
Lafe McKee ... Clint Wheeler
Anders Van Haden Anders Van Haden ... Marshal Bob Dinsmore (as W.A. Howell)
Dick Dickinson Dick Dickinson ... Bill Ainsley
Bob Perry Bob Perry ... Joe Stevens
Harry Todd ... Pop




Tim Benton and Red Larkin escape from prison together before Tim learns he has been pardoned. His one desire is to return to Silver City and rob the mine payroll,which rightfully belongs to him, and prove his innocence of the crime for which he was railroaded to prison. On their way to Silver City, Red, who is a desperate criminal, shoots a man who is on their trail, and who turns out to be the newly-appointed Sheriff whom none of the town citizens have met. Tim takes his clothes and credentials and proceeds on his way, not knowing he will be greeted as the lawman the town is expecting. . Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Hell-for-Leather Thrills In a Galloping Drama! See more »


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Did You Know?


One of over a hundred Columbia features, mostly Westerns, sold to Hygo Television Films in the 1950s, who marketed them under the name of Gail Pictures; opening credits were redesigned, with some titles misspelled, the credit order of the players rearranged, some names misspelled, and new end titles attached, thus eliminating any evidence of their Columbia roots. Apparently, the original material was not retained in most of the cases, and the films have survived, even in the Sony library, only with these haphazardly created replacement opening and end credits. See more »

User Reviews

Marshall or Marshal...it's still a dandy picture.
6 June 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In the 1950s, a small company bought up a lot of old B-westerns and chopped them to pieces in order to fit them into a television format of one hour. This often meant removing the original titles and replacing them with crappy ones to trim a minute or two from the film. In the case of "The Fighting Marshal", however, they screwed up and misspelled it "The Fighting Marshall". Interestingly, when the captioner recently created closed captions, they obviously saw the title and copied the same mistake! Still, whichever you call it, "The Fighting Marshal" or "The Fighting Marshall" (meaning a guy whose surname is Marshall), it's still a decent little film.

The film begins with Tim Benton (McCoy) in prison!! Considering he's supposed to be a nice-guy cowboy here, this certainly IS a surprise. However, you soon learn he's been framed and the warden has learned that Benton is to be pardoned. But, before anyone can tell Tim, he and a real baddie, Red Larkin, escape!

Soon after their escape, they are captured by a lawman, Marshal Bob Dinsmore. Dinsmore is planning on taking them to the town where he's about to be installed as their new lawman. But the escapees get the jump on him. Tim decides to impersonate the Marshal, though what to do with the real one is a serious plot problem. No problem- -Larkin murders him while Tim is in town.

Once installed as the new lawman, Marshal 'Dinsmore' (Tim) proves himself to be very effective and tough. He also soon discovers the same two men who lied to have him convicted--and he catches them committing more crimes and arrests them. While they can vouch for Tim being innocent, remember that the law actually already KNOWS this. The other glitch in all this is Larkin--he's a thug and needs killing!

This film has a lot going for it--much more than a typical B- western. The plot isn't filled with the usual clichés (such as a guy who's in prison but is really a federal agent under cover!), the fight scenes are awfully good and the shooting probably done by McCoy himself, as he was a champion shooter in real life. Well worth seeing.

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Release Date:

25 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fighting Marshall See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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