In the early 1900s, Wes Anderson is arrested for night-time cattle rustling (moonlighting). He had been gone from his home town for five years, leaving his sweetheart, Rela, to wait for him. Wes' brother, Tom, has chosen a different path in life and works as a teller in a bank in Rio Hondo. Tom is in-love with Rela and he pressures her to marry him in Wes' absence. Languishing in a sheriff's jail, Wes is awaiting trial, which promises to be a fair one, at least according to the town sheriff. But an angry lynch mob of local ranchers agitate in front of the jail, swinging a hanging rope and hankering for Wes' blood. When the sheriff leaves his jail for a lunch-break, the mob breaks into the jail, grabs an imprisoned hobo by mistake and hangs him. The lynch-mob believes to have hung Wes but he is safe, in jail. After he escapes from jail, Wes vows revenge on the members of the lynch mob. During the following days, Wes raids the ranches of those who participated in the lynch mob. He burns...
The beam of the moon - the scream of a woman - the savage meeting of "The Moonlighter" and his Midnight Lady! (original poster)
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Did You Know?
According to a contemporary article in the Los Angeles Times, Alan Ladd
and Kirk Douglas
were being considered for the male lead in this film. See more
When Rela leaves the undertaker's office and closes the door behind her, reflected in the left door glass pane is the back of a modern truck, and in the right glass pane is a face of a person wearing a dark hat standing nearby. See more
You've changed, Wes.
Nobody stays the same.
Opening credits roll up from behind the scene of mountains, and include "Photographed in Natural Vision 3 Dimension", See more