When a strong man has ambitions, it's likely he will get what he's after, no matter what he has to do. But, when a weak man can't face up to his own weakness and then tries to be a Big Shot, he's riding for a fall that can shake the Earth for miles around.
In Denton, in the Red Dog Saloon, outlaw Joel Collins is enjoying a drink with his girl Marisa and a few of his cronies. He offers a dollar for a kid to sing a song, and the kid obliges.
Sam Bass was born in Indiana.
He made his way to Denton.
After Sam turns to sing another verse, he spies a gun drawing down on Collins from an upstairs room of the saloon. Hearing the warning yell from Sam, Joel turns and shoots, killing the man, who happens to be the well-liked Sheriff Hall of Denton. Collins then hurries out the saloon, but not before telling Sam to look him up at the Rock Creek Ranch, if he ever needs a job.
In the marshal's office, Sam Bass pleads innocent to helping to murder the lawman. Will Foreman wants to believe the kid, but it doesn't come easy to him. He admits that letting Sam go might be a mistake, but he really hasn't got a reason to hold the kid in custody.
Back on the street, the kid now finds himself disliked for his part in getting the lawman killed. He was a swamper in the saloon, but now he finds he's been fired. He can't obtain employment at the livery stable either, although his friend Barnes would like to help. With no one wanting him, he leaves town, headed for the Rock Creek Ranch.
At the ranch, he finds out he is not really wanted there, either, because he is deemed a "kid" and has no experience in banditry. However, Joel Collins decides to give Sam a chance. During a train robbery, Sam manages to locate chests full of money, and all the bandits are suddenly wealthy. It's at this time that Collins advises Sam to "always ride tall as a tree and twice as grand." Sam promptly dons spiffy duds.
Problems now arise in the way of jealousy. Sam is hot-tempered, and it's increasingly difficult for Joel to control him. When Sam takes Marisa and begins to call Joel an "old man," Joel tosses him out of the gang. Not to be outdone, Sam heads back to Denton, where he recruits Barnes and Murphy as his own gang. In his trial-and-error methods of learning the bandit trail, he manages to flag down a troop train to rob, which nearly gets them all killed. He returns to stagecoaches, until he gets the hang of things, and then heads into all manner of banditry. By robbing and murdering all over the place, Sam soon has a price tag on his head...and Will Foreman on his trail.
The end comes when Collins, down on his luck, comes to Sam for a job. Sam takes him as one of his men, but treats Joel like dirt. This leads Collins into betraying Sam to Will Foreman. When Sam plans on robbing the Denton bank, Collins calls in the marshals. It is the end of the line for Sam Bass.
You can read about the real Sam Bass by clicking on the link below.