On the day of his wedding to Scott, Payne is surprised by four strangers who ride into town. Their leader, Duryea, says that Payne is wanted for murder in California. Payne knows he's innocent and tries to convince his friends that these so-called marshals are wrong. However, he quickly discovers that his friends are a bunch of hypocrites who turn their back on him now that Payne is in trouble. He's forced to prove himself at the end in a climactic gunfight. Duryea is shown to be a fake, and Payne learns who his friends are. This interesting little western was intended as a quick programmer with obvious debts to the classic HIGH NOON. However, Dwan's direction gives the film an interesting visual style that propels the material to a higher plane. Though some of the acting leaves a little to be desired, there's a certain degree of realism to the film, nicely captured against the Technicolor scenery. Some thought SILVER LODE served as a fine allegory to the political climate of the time, conveying some definite anti-McCarthy values. The entire film takes place during a three-hour period on July 4, with an apparent debt to Akiro Kurosawa's RASHOMON (1951) evident in recurrent scenes of the same happening seen through the memories and the prejudices of the different principals.