Brisco County, Jr. is hired by the attorney of a group of robber barons to track down and apprehend the infamous John Bly and his gang, a job that was previously entrusted to his late father, Brisco County, Sr.
Several of the laborers enter the cave to begin digging, where they locate a strange golden object partially buried in the dirt. They curiously gather around it as it makes a low humming sound. One of the workers reaches forward, pulling a electric blue glowing rod from the object. He points it at the others, and small sparks of electricity shoot out toward each of them. They then begin ripping off their shackles and walking out of the cave.
Chapter One: "The Blast Supper" Edit
A train carrying a large number of shackled inmates travels toward its destination with Marshal Brisco County, Sr. seated in the rear car. A reporter moves to the seat beside him and asks what he will do after having rounded up thirteen of the most notorious criminals of the west, including John Bly. County responds that he will smoke his pipe. The reporter informs him that if he doesn't give him a decent quote for his article, he'll have to make something up. County asks the reporter – whose name is Jonah Collier – why he should break with custom, indicating Collier's newspaper column is notorious for printing false information. Collier responds that in this particular instance, the truth is "just too damned good."
He elaborates that the entire John Bly gang is on the train with them, and in three days they will all be locked in the federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania. Every other lawman west of the Mississippi River hunted down the gang, but somehow Marshal County was able to take them all down alone. County then shouts to his comrades in the car, "Did you hear that boys? Single-handedly." Collier points out that he was speaking figuratively; he then notices County's gun, asking if it's the same one he's heard so much about. County tells him that it's "just an ordinary peacemaker with a pretty handle." Collier says that the gun is beautiful, but County insists that it doesn't cause the gun to shoot straighter. Collier thanks him, indicating that he will use that in his article.
Meanwhile, ahead of the train, a man named Owens is painting a landscape on an unrevealed canvas. His companion, Pete Hutter, tells him he's captured the epic grandeur of the American wild west. Pete steps away from Owens, revealing that the portrait is on a giant boulder that is sitting on the train track. Pete rambles on about how he dislikes Frenchmen who "slap their paint on in bold strokes of vibrant color," saying that he is a classicist at heart. Pete then tells Owens that his painting needs a sunset. Owens replies that it is the middle of the day. Pete begins to tell him that it's negative thinking that breeds complacency, but is cut off by the sound of the train's whistle. He tells Owens to clear the track.
Back on the train, one of the prisoners struggles against his chains. In the passenger car, Marshal County asks Mr. Collier if he was wearing a tie pin. Collier checks himself, finding that his pin is gone. In the other car, the prisoner begins using Collier's tie pin to unlock his shackles. He then removes the sack covering his head.
Pete directs several outlaws to wait for the train on a ledge above the tracks. The train conductor suddenly realizes that there is a boulder on the track, and pulls the break lever. The train propels through the boulder, grinding to a halt. Pete orders his companions to open fire, and several of them begin boarding the train. Marshal County pulls out his gun and heads for the prisoner car in front of his car. One of Pete's men places a stick of dynamite on top of the prisoner car, blowing a hole in the ceiling. Another outlaw drops gun belts to the prisoners below. County opens the door to the prisoner car and is immediately greeted with smoke and several guns pointed right at him. He is shot dead, dropping his hat and his gun. Two of the prisoners step forward to look at the dead marshal, one of them saying that "there's been a change... in plans."
A newspaper for The St. Louis Tribune is seen, with the headline "The West Mourns a Hero." Another article for The Kansas City Chronicle reads "Federal Marshal Brisco County Murdered." The San Francisco Gazette reports "John Bly Gang Escapes." At the Gazette office in San Francisco, Mr. Collier, with casts on both arms, recalls how he witnessed John Bly's masterful escape, despite the railroad's many precautions. He remarks that it has eluded him how someone could drive a train into a giant painted rock with scenery no more convincing than "the backdrop at the horseshoe club." He then changes the subject to the Westerfield Club, where the leading robber barons of the west have been meeting. After complaining that his casted arms are itching again, he continues talking about the robber barons, stating they have given their "lapdog," Socrates Poole, the responsibility for hiring a bounty hunter. His assistant asks if Lord Bowler will be the Westerfield Club's hired gun, but Collier tells him that his sources have told him that the hunter will be none other than Brisco County, Jr., Marshal County's son. He has heard that Brisco is a Harvard-educated lawyer and scholar, refined and elegant. His only question was how they roped him into it.
Elsewhere, several Mexican banditos have captured Brisco. One ties a rope to hang him on, putting it around his neck. The leader asks him if he has any final words, to which Brisco replies that he didn't do it. The leader shouts that he has cheated him at cards and is now lying to his face. He wishes him better luck in the next world and tells one of his men to slap Brisco's horse, Comet. Comet screeches, but Brisco tells him to take it easy. The lead bandito tells his man to slap Comet again. He has him slap Comet a third time, but Comet remains still. Brisco tells Comet to remain still, not wishing to hang. The bandito then shouts for his men to hang the horse as well. Suddenly a woman emerges from the building behind them, telling the bandito she found the card that Brisco seemingly took. The bandito asks where she found it, and she replies that it was in Carlos' pocket. A firefight ensues, leaving Brisco and Comet trapped in the middle. One of the banditos accidentally shoots the noose around Brisco's neck, and Brisco takes that opportunity to flee the scene.
Meanwhile, at the Westerfield Club, the robber barons have gathered, awaiting Brisco's arrival. The butler informs them that Brisco has arrived. Brisco saunters in, brushing himself off. He removes his hat and asks which one of them is Aristotle Poole. Socrates sighs and corrects him on the misuse of his name. Brisco says it's probably a common mistake, especially if one fails Greek philosophy two years in a row. Suddenly, Comet waltzes into the room, Brisco quickly shooing him out and closing the doors behind him. Brisco then explains that Comet doesn't know he's a horse. Socrates quickly changes the subject, introducing Brisco to his employers, Sherman Paulson, who owns the mines, Francis Killbridge, who runs shipping, Kenyon Drummond, who runs the cattle market, Granville Thorogood, the railroad owner, and Ethan Emerson, who owns "everything." Emerson corrects Brisco's assessment, telling him that he only owns the banks, but Brisco insists that the banks own everything. Thorogood asks Brisco if he knows he's late, but Brisco tells him he barely made it there at all. Killbridge says they've heard Brisco is a lawyer, but Brisco replies that he isn't anymore. Drummond thinks it is a shameful waste of seven years, though Brisco feels it's not as bad as a wasted life. He informs Socrates he meant no offense, again mispronouncing his name, this time as "Sophocles."
Thorogood asks Brisco what he has been doing lately, and Brisco responds he's been looking. They all look at him in confusion when he doesn't elaborate. Brisco continues, saying he is looking for The Coming Thing. Paulson questions what The Coming Thing might be, and Brisco tells them that it's 1893, which is only seven years away from a new century. Fed up, Thorogood asks what exactly The Coming Thing is. Brisco responds that if he knew what it was, it would already be here. Thorogood stands up, telling Brisco good day, though Drummond protests. The five of them begin to argue, but Brisco jumps up from his chair, grabbing their attention. He tells them he wants the job, claiming he can "outshoot, outride, outspit, outfight and outthink" John Bly and his gang, and they would be making a mistake by dismissing him. He begins to walk out, but is stopped by Mr. Emerson, who tells Socrates to take Brisco to his office and sign the employment agreement.
In Socrates' office, Socrates tells Brisco he's not quite what he expected, and Brisco responds that expectations lead to disappointment. Socrates explains that Brisco will give him regular updates on his progress and he will supply him bi-monthly pay vouchers. Brisco looks him over and asks if Socrates makes up his speeches in advance and memorizes them. Socrates simply replies that some find his skills to be an asset, he then points out some items that belonged to Marshal County. Brisco looks them over, finding his father's gun and putting it on. He tells Socrates that he'll keep the gun, but to send the rest to the "dead sheriff's museum". Socrates thinks that is a bit cold of him, but decides to withdraw the comment, saying it's none of his business. Brisco tells him that his father was the best lawman that there was, but being a risky profession, he had his whole life to prepare for his death. Brisco then notices a note that was pushed under the door that reads, "Stanyon's, table four, 3:00 PM."
Later, as the two are eating at Stanyon's Café, Brisco tells Socrates what a wonder it will be with trolleys running up and down the street, perhaps even motorized trolleys that won't need tracks. Socrates thinks it's impressive that Brisco can always look to the future, while he constantly finds himself stuck in the present. Brisco then wonders who could have sent them the note, but his question is answered when Lord Bowler sits down at their table. He tells Brisco that he could hardly make a living before his father died, but now he has found out there is another Brisco County. Bowler tells him he should quit while he's ahead, as he intends to go after Bly's gang alone. Brisco considers that for a moment but shakes his head. Bowler then suggests that the last man to remain at the table will get the job, and slams a pack of dynamite on the table, lighting it. Rather than flee, Brisco calls the waiter to their table, slowly looking over the menu. Socrates and the waiter grow continually nervous as the dynamite gets closer to detonation. Brisco finally decides on a steak, and the waiter rushes away from the table. Bowler and Socrates continue to eye the fuse as it burns closer to the dynamite.
Chapter Two: "Scarred Feet Turn up the Heat" Edit
The fuse continues burning, but Brisco won't back down. At the last second, Bowler cuts the fuse with his knife, preventing all of their deaths. Brisco tells him he's lost, but Bowler won't have it. He pushes the table, and Socrates, out of his way and lunges at Brisco. A brief fistfight between the two ensues, with Bowler ending up on the floor unconscious. Brisco decides to eat at the bar, but several policemen enter the café and arrest him instead.
At the railroad site, Granville Thorogood and Federal Agent Brown are arguing over possession of the Orb, the mysterious object discovered by the Chinese laborers. Thorogood believes it is his, because it was found by his workers, but Brown reminds him that the government owns the land on which he is building. A scientist who is documenting the Orb for further study at his lab in the Smithsonian tells Thorogood that it is of great scientific value, but Thorogood is not amused. The scientist believes it has supernatural powers, due to the fact that it granted the Chinese laborers superhuman strength to removed their shackles by hand.
The Orb is soon loaded into a government crate, suspended by leather bands to keep it from moving around. One of the men to take the Orb to Washington, D.C. asks what the object is, to which the scientist replies that it's an "unearthed foreign object." The man writes "U.F.O." on the crate, then orders the wagon carrying the Orb to move out.
Meanwhile, Brisco and Bowler are in a crowed courtroom awaiting their sentence. Bowler claims to know the judge, saying, "He's tough, but he's fair... so just keep your mouth shut and take your sixty days." The judge calls for the next person, which is them, and begins reading off their charges, which are disorderly conduct and public fighting. He is about to issue them sixty days of labor, but Brisco requests a jury trial. The judge asks him if he's a lawyer, and Brisco replies that he is. The judge says he has no time for a trial, but Brisco insists that the Constitution requires it. The judge decides to dismiss him, and Brisco leaves, Bowler attempting to squeeze out with him. The judge stops Bowler before he can leave, giving him sixty days of hard labor.
Out in an unknown location, a man approaches Bly's secret headquarters with a message. Big Smith informs the other members of the gang of a government gold train that will be travelling to D.C.
- Bruce Campbell as Brisco County, Jr.
- Julius Carry as Lord Bowler
- Dan Gerrity as Jonah Collier
- Christian Clemenson as Socrates Poole
Special guest stars Edit
Also starring Edit
- R. Lee Ermey as Brisco County, Sr.
- M.C. Gainey as Big Smith
- John Pyper-Ferguson as Pete Hutter
- Kelly Rutherford as Dixie Cousins
- Anne Tremko as Amanda Wickwire
- Stuart Whitman as Granville Thorogood
- Rayford Barnes as Sherman Paulson
- Paul Brinegar as Francis Killbridge
- James Drury as Ethan Emerson
- Robert Fuller as Kenyon Drummond
- James Hong as Lee Pow
- Bill Bolender as Lightning Bill
- Charles Noland as Scratchy
- Mark Twogood as Vulture Neck
- Gary Carlos Cervantes as Chava (as Gary Cervantes)
- Chi Muoi Lo as Loo
- Kevin Lowe as Federal Agent Brown
- Carlton Cuse as Owens
- Fernanda Gordon as Maria
- Stuart Quan as Lucky
- Norman Merrill as Scientist
- Mark Silence as Male clerk
- Peter Bromilow as Butler
- Kenneth Scott Allen as Announcer
- Terry Funk as Defendant
- Al Hansen as Man on horseback
- Armando Ortega as Waiter
- Rick Dean as Lookout
- Bert Remsen as Judge
- Jerry Potter as Stagecoach driver #1
- Sunshine Parker as Stagecoach driver #2 (as Lloyd 'Sunshine' Parker)
- Eric Lawson as Outlaw #1
- Lego Louis as Outlaw #2
- Buck Rooney as Outlaw #3
- Melissa Behr as Female assistant
- Tom Simmons as Wagon driver
- Frank Vlastnik as Telegraph clerk
Uncredited co-stars Edit
Production crew Edit
- Music by
- Randy Edelman
- Film editor
- Russell Denove
- Production designer
- Rodger Maus
- Director of photography
- Jack N. Green
- David Simkins
- Paul Marks
- Written by
- David Simkins
- Jeffrey Boam
- Carlton Cuse
- Directed by
- Bryan Spicer
- Jeffrey Boam – executive producer
- Carlton Cuse – executive producer
- John Frank Levey (as John Levey)
- Patricia Noland
- Kevin Scott (uncredited)
- Set decoration
- Warren Welch
- Makeup department
- Michael Hancock – makeup artist
- Bette Iverson – hair stylist
- Production management
- Paul Marks – unit production manager
- Second unit director or assistant director
- Johanna Jensen – second assistant director
- Steve Love – first assistant director
- Art department
- Beverly Hadley – property master
- Christa Munro – assistant art director
- Lee Lazarow – assistant property master (uncredited)
- Sound department
- Don H. Matthews – production sound mixer (as Don Matthews)
- Walter Newman – supervising sound editor
- James Bailey – foley artist (uncredited)
- Al Gomez – foley mixer (uncredited)
- Dennis C. Salcedo – boom operator (uncredited)
- Steven M. Sax – sound editor (uncredited)
- Special effects
- Kam Cooney – special effects (as M. Kam Cooney)
- Johnny Borgese – special effects supervisor (uncredited)
- Walter Scott – stunt coordinator
- Perry Barndt – co-stunt coordinator (uncredited)
- Tony Lee Boggs – utility stunts (uncredited)
- Chris Branham – stunts (uncredited)
- Marco Paul – utility stunts (uncredited)
- Camera and electrical department
- Alex Barraza – key grip
- Don Nygren – chief lighting technician
- Tim Dunford – assistant camera (uncredited)
- Jerry D. Knight – electrician (uncredited)
- Ron Kunecke – night light operator (uncredited)
- Mark Mele – rigging gaffer (uncredited)
- Barry Wexler – best boy grip (uncredited)
- Costume and wardrobe department
- Thomas S. Dawson – costumer: men (as Tom Dawson)
- Paula Lynn Kaatz – costume supervisor (as Paula Kaatz)
- Radford Polinsky – set costumer (uncredited)
- Editorial department
- Richard L. McCullough – assistant editor
- Michael Hissrich – post production supervisor (uncredited)
- Jeff Mack – colorist: dailies (uncredited)
- Music department
- Kathy Durning – music editor
- Transportation department
- Jack Grant – transportation coordinator
- Other crew
- Suzanne Gundlach – script supervisor
- Gordon A. Spencer – wrangler (as Gordon Spencer)
- Edward J. Duffy – location manager (uncredited)
- R. Ruddell Weatherwax – animal trainer (uncredited)