Bullwhip, Steve Dailey is in the Abilene, Kansas jail waiting to be hanged when Judge Carr brings Cheyenne O’Malley into his cell and says that Dailey can go free if he marries the girl, without knowing her name, because she must have a husband to claim an estate. Dailey agrees and gets a letter of pardon from the Judge, who plans to kill him, but Dailey, with the help of his friend, Podo, escapes the jail and the Judge’s hired killer, “Slow” Karp. He sets out to find his new bride but is captured and taken to the mansion of John Parnell. The latter tells Dailey that Cheyenne is actually a half-breed who runs a fur-trading company and needed a husband because of provisions in her father’s will. Parnell is also a fur-trader but he wants Dailey to take over her business so they can work together. Dailey agrees, trails the wagon train and takes over but not before Cheyenne bull-whips him. Meanwhile, Karp has been hired by Judge Carr to kill Dailey and hired by Parnell to keep him alive. He plays both ends against the middle. Dailey has no desire to be the middle.
A Fun Western
Bullwhip, I do not get the hate for Bullwhip. While I agree it is not the Big Country, Shane or The Searchers it is a very good movie. The key is not to look at it in terms of 2020 or as The Taming Of The Shrew, just see it the picture it is. A lighthearted western.
First off no one was supposed to take the redhead Cheyenne O’Malley as a serious Native American ( or even half breed), see her dressed as an Indian princess in one scene that really stands out.
Think about it, if they wanted serious, Allied Artists would not have cast Rhonda Fleming in the role, they would have chosen a brunette instead of a redhead. Of equal importance, is the belief that she changed from a tough woman to one who submitted to her husband Steve ( Guy Madison). Actually not true.
When she first saw him, she was attracted to him but she would not admit it. What he had to do is earn her respect ( which he does when he does things like take her whip away from her and yank her off a horse, and beat her Indian friend Podo in a fight ( Podo changes sides later on and is on his side)), and then eventually love.