A band of Mexicans find their U. S. land claims denied and all the records destroyed in a courthouse fire. Their leader, Louis Chama, encourages them to use force to regain their land. A wealthy landowner wanting the same decides to hire a gang of killers with Joe Kidd to track Chama.
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Ten years after the Civil War has ended, the Governor of Texas asks Leander McNelly (McDermott) to form a company of Rangers to help uphold the law along the Mexican border. With a few veterans of the war (Patrick, Travis), most of the recruits are young men (Van Der Beek, Kutcher, Raymond) who have little or no experience with guns or policing crime.
Henry Moon is captured for a capital offense by a posse when his horse quits while trying to escape to Mexico. He finds that there is a post-Civil War law in the small town that any single or widowed woman can save him from the gallows by marrying him.
A mysterious gunfighter named Django is employed by a local crooked political boss as a hangman to execute innocent locals framed by the boss, who wants their land. What the boss doesn’t know is that Django isn’t hanging the men at all, just making it look like he is, and using the men he saves from the gallows to build up his own “gang” in order to take revenge on the boss, who, with Django’s former best friend, caused the death of his wife years before.
An authoritarian rancher, Barbara Stanwyck, who rules an Arizona county with her private posse of hired guns. When a new Marshall arrives to set things straight, the cattle queen finds herself falling, brutally for the avowedly non-violent lawman. Both have itchy-fingered brothers, a female gunman enters the picture, and things go desperately wrong.