stars in the hard-driving oater Tall in the Saddle,
which was co-written by character actor Paul Fix
. Wayne plays Rocklin, a chauvinistic cowboy who arrives at the KC Ranch in Santa Inez to apply for a job as a foreman. But when he finds that the owner has died and that the ranch is now being run by two women --Clara Cardell (Audrey Long
) and her aunt Miss Martin (Elizabeth Risdon
)-- he hardheadedly refuses to work for the women. But later on, Clara comes looking for Rocklin, asking his help in obtaining a letter from the town's corrupt judge Garvey (Ward Bond
) that proves that Clara is old enough to be the legal owner of the ranch. Rocklin arrives in Garvey's office just after Garvey has burned the letter. The two tangle, with Rocklin sending Garvey crashing through his door. After the fight, Rocklin meets Arly Harolday (Ella Raines
), another female ranch owner. Rocklin's views on women enrage Arly so much that she gets her stepfather (Donald Douglas
) to hire him to work on her ranch, just so she can fire him. But in spite of Rocklin's primitive attitudes, Arly falls in love with him. Meanwhile, things are heating up as Garvey and other corrupt officials try to get control of the KC ranch. In order to get rid of Rocklin, a murder rap is pinned on him, forcing him to leave town. Hiding out at the KC ranch, he learns that he is the nephew of the ranch's dead owner and the rightful heir. Arly arrives to help Rocklin and to tell him that the murder Rocklin is accused of committing was actually committed by Arly's stepfather, who is working with Garvey and Miss Martin to get the deed to the ranch. With all that information under his cowboy hat, Rocklin cocks his gun and goes out to face the bad guys for a final showdown.