This film, as seemed to be the case back then, had several American titles. Fifteen Scaffolds For The Killer(variant 15 Scaffolds) were the other two. The title comes from the two groups of men being pursued by a posse of almost every able bodied man in town.
It opens with a raid on a ranch for a large horse herd. Most of the hands are shot down in the raid, the rest in the chase. The bandits are lead by Sandy Cassel(George Martin) and the job is observed by a trio on a hill above. Billy Mack(Craig Hill) is the boss of that bunch. They’d been on the way to steal the herd themselves. Billy Mack observed that they would have left the owner alive.
Cassel and his gang sell the herd and then stop at a ranch for the night. It’s owned by a woman and her two daughters, all three attractive, the older girl getting married the next day. They ask for water and food, are offered the barn, and settle in. One man wants to play cards for the women, but Cassel puts a stop to it. Billy Mack and his two partners arrive at the ranch and trouble almost erupts. Mack and Cassel settle for their own kind of partnership. Mack will steal the horses and sell them, then Cassel can do the same.
They bed down for the night.
The next morning, early, the fiance arrives and we catch a glimpse of someone slipping out of a window. He finds the woman and her daughters strangled. The Fifteen are still asleep in the barn and the fiance returns to town to round up a posse. While that happens, Cassel and Mack find the dead women, figure one of them did the deed, then flee when the posse arrives.
That sets the scene for the rest of the film. Battles, the fifteen taking the town temporarily, then running with a hostage, Barbara Ferguson(Susy Anderson), wife of the preacher leading the posse with the sheriff.
They are finally run down at an old fort where some Mexican families are living and the battles continue.
There is also an older man who hangs on the fringes and has us wondering who he might be. He’s bought the ranch next to the dead women and seems highly interested in what’s happening.
The mystery is who is the killer, who the older man is, and will any of the fifteen survive. Oh, and Mrs. Ferguson seems to be falling for Mack.
Not a bad western.