Murder At Yellowstone City Plot Synopsis
Gold. If you’ve seen the aptly titled Zach Efron film, Gold, you already know that it can push a guy to murder. A number of murders occur in Murder at Yellowstone City when gold prospector Robert Dunnigan announces his discovery of gold to the community.
The first murder victim is Dunnigan. Former slave Cicero, who just rode into town, is the prime suspect. He is detained by the sheriff for the crime, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has the incorrect person.
Who then murdered Dunnigan and the other Yellowstone City victims? Does the Sheriff find out who the murderer is? Let’s examine the movie more closely.
How does the movie begin?
Robert Dunnigan is launched into the air as his explosive discloses the location of a gold mine, setting off the dramatic opening of the film. Cicero, who is en route to Yellowstone City, sees this.
Robert travels to the nearby Yellowstone City to alert the locals of his discovery and makes a fortune-promising vow after telling his wife Emma that he has struck gold.
Soon later, Cicero enters the city, but some of the locals are wary of this stranger.
Cicero goes to the saloon for a drink after leaving his horse with Violet, the neighborhood stable girl, and strikes up a conversation with the owner, Edgar, about their mutual interest in Shakespeare.
After a while, things are quiet, but then Robert is killed while returning from the local whorehouse, and the sheriff arrests his top suspect.
Who does the Sheriff arrest for the crime?
The clergyman Thaddeus Murphy is asked by the sheriff to construct a casket and make burial arrangements after Robert’s body is discovered. The sheriff then goes to Cicero’s boarding house and makes an arrest for the gold prospector’s slaying. Then he threatens Cicero with execution by hanging if he doesn’t confess his wrongdoing to the entire town.
Violet shows up after Cicero has been imprisoned and informs the Sheriff that Cicero cannot have committed the crime that occurred outside of town because his horse never left the stables.
Cicero stays in his cell as a result of the Sheriff’s dismissal of Violet. The pastor’s wife, Alice, pays the unfortunate stranger a visit later, and he confides in her about his life. We learn that he is an orphan and that the figure in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” influenced him to choose the name Cicero.
While Alice does not possess the entire body of Shakespeare, she does possess a Bible, which she leaves with him before going back to her husband.
Do people believe Cicero killed the gold prospector?
A prostitute named Isabel who fell in love with Robert thinks Cicero may have murdered her lover. Some of the other females she is with also believe he is guilty.
When Alice informs her husband about her encounter with Cicero, she makes clear that she still believes in his innocence.
Violet also thinks Robert is innocent, and when she discovers proof of a different reason for Robert’s death, her thoughts are almost confirmed.
What does Violet find?
Emma, Robert’s wife, is given a room to stay in when he passes away and moves into the town. The sheriff informs Emma that the person responsible for her husband’s death will be held accountable. Despite her sorrow, she begs the Sheriff to name Robert’s “favorite” since she seems more interested in the person her husband might have been having an affair with.
Violet pays the woman a visit when Emma is in town and discovers a note in her shanty. It’s a letter from Emma’s ostensible lover.
Could Robert have been slain by Emma’s lover in order to get Robert out of the way? It’s a possibility, and Violet gives the message to Thaddeus because she believes it may be related to the crime.
The pastor then asks Cicero if he killed Robert when he visits him. Cicero claims to be guiltless.
Later, Emma meets with the pastor and the sheriff. Emma expresses to them her desire to move out of town and begin a new life.
Following this discussion, Thaddeus presents the letter to the Sheriff and informs him that Cicero doesn’t appear to be a killer. The Sheriff, however, is still reluctant to free the jailed guy, in part because of an error he made years before when he released another prisoner who later killed his wife.
When the pastor departs, the sheriff discusses the love letter with his son Jimmy, a part-time deputy, and urges him to look into it.
Does the killer strike again?
Yes! When he slashes Violet’s throat, the killer kills another person. Coincidentally, Cicero escapes from his jail (we aren’t told how), and the Sheriff assumes that Cicero is responsible for Violet’s death. The Sheriff and his men set off after Cicero, and a chase begins. After leaping onto a tree from his horse, Cicero is able to hide, but not before being shot.
Cicero returns to town and enters the security of the church, where Thaddeus and Alice look after him as the Sheriff and his men depart in the wrong direction.
Thaddeus realizes the bullet he took from Cicero’s body might not be the same as the one that murdered Robert. He unearths the prospector’s body to corroborate this, which proves his suspicions.
Jimmy shows up at the brothel in the meantime and pays Isabel for some sex. Unfortunately for her, he is not only motivated by sexual desire as he murders her with her back to him. Jimmy is the real killer, it’s now very evident!
He wasn’t, however, working by himself.
What was the motivation for the murders?
We learn that Jimmy killed Isabel at Emma’s request and that they were in love. He was probably instructed to kill Isabel by Emma because she had been having an affair with her husband.
We also learn that Jimmy killed Robert, perhaps on Emma’s instruction so that they could live together.
Poor Violet was presumably murdered by Jimmy as a result of the proof she discovered.
What happens to Cicero?
In the course of their hunt, the Sheriff and his men eventually locate Cicero at the pastor’s residence.
When Thaddeus refuses to surrender Cicero, a gunfight breaks out, resulting in the deaths of numerous Sheriff’s men.
Cicero is able to flee on his horse while Alice is mounted and firing a gun at the men after them as the struggle continues.
They reach a cabin, a supposedly secure haven, but Jimmy and one of the sheriff’s men discover them there.
Another gunfight breaks out, but Cicero’s demise appears imminent as his ammunition runs out. Jimmy continues to fire on him despite his success in killing one of the men. But suddenly, just in time, Thaddeus shows in, shoots Jimmy, and then ties him up.
Does the Sheriff learn of the killer’s identity?
Back in town are Alice, Cicero, and Thaddeus.
They present Jimmy to the Sheriff as they make their way there.
Jimmy claims to be innocent, but when the Sheriff calls Emma into his office and she fails to completely accuse Jimmy, their murderous conspiracy is discovered.
After losing her composure, Emma shoots the Sheriff. Jimmy comes to his father’s rescue, but Thaddeus fires on him, wounding him fatally.
Although we don’t see it, it may be assumed that Jimmy’s injured father also passed away shortly after Jimmy passed away in his arms.
Outside, Emma has now escaped, and Thaddeus and Alice are pursuing her. Emma is about to shoot Thaddeus when Alice fires, killing Emma in the process.
Thaddeus and Alice make a pledge to repair and improve the community as the movie comes to a close. Cicero mounts his horse and departs from the village that gave him more grief than he could have ever imagined as they discuss their intentions.