Along the Great Divide
aka The Traveler
Adventure / Romance / Western
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Cast: Kirk Douglas as Marshal Len Merrick
Virginia Mayo as Ann Keith
John Agar as Billy Shear
Walter Brennan as Tim 'Pop' Keith
Ray Teal as Deputy Lou Gray
Hugh Sanders as Sam Weaver
Morris Ankrum as Ned Roden
James Anderson as Dan Roden
Charles Meredith as Judge Marlowe
Along the Great Divide is a 1951 Warner Brothers release, directed by Raoul Walsh. This film was Kirk Douglas’ first western, and is enhanced by the acting skills of the great Walter Brennan.
Len Merrick is a federal marshal who, along with two of his deputies, stops a lynching from happening. Ned Roden, owner of a large ranch, accuses Pop Keith of killing his son and wants him dead. Merrick takes Pop into custody, vowing to get him to trial in the town of Santa Loma.
Before setting out on their trek, the marshal, his deputies and their prisoner spend the night at Pop’s house, where Pop’s daughter, Ann, tries to ambush them to free her father. After being subdued by Len they all rest up and begin their trip the next morning, with Ann accompanying them.
Since the marshal has been warned that Roden’s men will be trailing them to take Pop away and hang him, the marshal decides to make the trip across the desert where it will be more difficult for his party to be ambushed.
The posse of Roden men catches up to them, but the marshal captures Roden’s son, Dan, to be held as insurance against further attack. In the gunfight, Merrick’s deputy, Billy, has been wounded and soon dies. Along the way, Dan Roden bribes the second deputy, Lou, to help him escape, and when he draws down on Merrick the marshal has to take him into custody too.
Now on his own guarding Pop, Lou, and Dan Roden, Merrick cannot sleep and must push on to Santa Loma against mounting odds.