In "Pale Rider", Clint Eastwood returned to the saddle after nine years - and Western movies were riding high again. Here the star/director crafted an exciting film in the suspenseful tradition of "Shane" and "High Noon". After corporate mining boss Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart) begins a terror campaign to drive independent pan miners out of the area, a stranger called Preacher (Eastwood) rides into the underdogs' camp. He becomes their avenger. The tycoon then hires a badge-wearing killer (John Russell) and his duster-shrouded deputies, men loyal to whomever pays the most. LaHood pays in gold. But in a climactic shootout to remember, Preacher pays in lead.