Don Murray stars as a humble cowboy with aspirations for bigger things. He borrows money from his dance-hall girlfriend Lee Remick to buy a ranch, then dumps Remick in favor of banker's daughter Patricia Owens. Murray runs for political office, and in so doing is compelled to join a posse in search of his best friend Stuart Whitman, who has turned rustler. Anxious not to compromise his climb to the top, Murray stands by in silence as Whitman is lynched. In the end, however, Murray regains his essential decency when he is shot while trying to protect his ex-girlfriend Remick from bullying land baron Richard Egan. Based on a novel by A. B. Guthrie Jr., These Thousand Hills may look and sound like a western, but it has "film noir" written all over it.
by Hal Erickson synopsis