Classic “B” Westerns

In 1985, the principals of Films Around The World, Inc. purchased a library of 178 “B” feature films.  Approximately 2/3 were good copyright; the remainder were in the public domain.  However, as the legitimate distributor – chain of title documents have been recorded with the Copyright Office — they gained ownership of original film elements, which are crucial for first-class modern digital mastering.  This group of titles from that library are all good copyright, and have been digitally mastered and restored from the original film elements, for video release by FATW’s “Mr. FAT-W Video” label.

AMBUSH TRAIL  (1946)
BLACK HILLS  (1947)
BORDER BADMEN  (1945)
BORDER FEUD  (1947)
CARAVAN TRAIL, THE  (1946)
CHECK YOUR GUNS  (1947)
CHEYENNE TAKES OVER  (1947)
COLORADO SERENADE  (1946)
DOWN MISSOURI WAY  (1946)
DRIFTIN’ RIVER  (1946)
FIGHTING BILL CARSON  (1945)
FIGHTING VIGILANTES, THE  (1947)
FLAMING BULLETS  (1945)
FRONTIER FUGITIVES  (1945)
GENTLEMEN WITH GUNS  (1945)
GHOST OF HIDDEN VALLEY  (1946)
GHOST TOWN RENEGADES  (1947)
HAWK OF POWDER RIVER, THE  (1948)
LIGHTNING RAIDERS  (1946)
NAVAJO KID, THE  (1945)
OUTLAWS  OF THE PLAINS  (1946)
OVERLAND RIDERS  (9146)
PIONEER JUSTICE  (1947)
PRAIRIE BADMEN  (1946)
PRAIRIE OUTLAWS  (1945)
PRAIRIE RUSTLERS  (1945)
RANGE BEYOND THE BLUE  (1947)
RED STALLION, THE  (1947)
RED STALLION IN THE ROCKIES  (1949)
RETURN OF THE LASH  (1947)
ROMANCE OF THE WEST  (1946)
SHADOW VALLEY  (1947)
SIX GUN MAN  (1946)
SONG OF OLD WYOMING  (1945)
STAGECOACH OUTLAWS  (1945)
STAGE TO MESA CITY  (1948)
STARS OVER TEXAS  (1946)
TERRORS ON HORSEBACK  (1946)
THUNDER TOWN  (1946)
TIOGA KID, THE  (1948)
TUMBLEWEED TRAIL  (1946)
WEST TO GLORY  (1947)
WESTWARD TRAIL, THE  (1948)
WILD COUNTRY  (1947)
WILD WEST  (1946)
YANKEE FAKIR  (1947)

AMBUSH TRAIL  (1946)
C. 21 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP411
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Bob Steele, Syd Saylor, I. Stanford Jolley, Lorraine Miller
Dir: Harry Fraser

“…another fast, furious, slugging, fighting western…. The villain is a land grabber.  Steele has to stop him before he takes all the property from the poor ranchers who can’t pay their bills.  The job is a tough one for a small man who is fighting a gang of heavyweights but he’s fearless and quick and smart.  And his horse is faster than the villains’ horses.  That helps when they’re chasing him around the countryside.  But you may rest assured that Steele as Curley will hold his own and expose the meanies.”  (New York Daily News,1946)

BLACK HILLS  (1947)
C. 25 Oct. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1276
B&W  58 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Shirley Patterson, Terry Frost
Dir: Ray Taylor

Average musical western starring Eddie Dean.  Rancher discovers gold vein in abandoned mine, keeps it secret from son and daughter, is murdered by local saloon owner who robs son of payroll money to force ranch’s foreclosure. Dean and his comic sidekick Roscoe Ates chase robbers, recover loot, stay on ranch, foil another plot by bad guys to get ranch.  (Variety, January 28, 1948; publicity release) “… the usual stagecoach chases, hand-to-hand fisticuffs and inaccurate six-gun  shooting.”  (The New York Times, January 28, 1948)

BORDER BADMEN  (1945)
C. 10 Oct. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13575
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Lorraine Miller, Charles King
Dir: Sam Newfield

Routine Buster Crabbe western in which his comic sidekick Al St. John is a distant relative of a deceased silver magnate trying to claim his inheritance only to learn that “a group of heavies in the town, including the mayor and the deputy sheriff, are killing off all the legal heirs as they turn up in order to fake a claim  to the several million-dollar legacy for themselves…  Pretty girl, the old man’s closest relative, is kidnapped by the thugs and released by Crabbe and St. John after a tussle in a cabin hideout.  Pair then return to the town and succeed in rounding up the heavies after more free-for-alls.” (Variety,October 23,1935)

BORDER FEUD  (1947)
B&W  54 Mins.  GC
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Bob Duncan, Gloria Marlen

“The Cheyenne Kid (‘Lash’ La Rue) is on his way to Mesa City to help his pal, Sheriff ‘Fuzzy’ Jones (Al ‘Fuzzy’ St. John), settle an old feud between the Harts and the Condons.  Posing as an outlaw, Cheyenne is accepted by gang leader Bill Barton (Bob Duncan) and is told that his job will be to continue stirring up trouble between the Condons and the Harts.  The plan is to make the two families kill each other off, so that a mine, which they  own jointly, can be bought at a price far below its value….the plan sours when ‘Fuzzy’ comes in and identifies Cheyenne as a Marshal.  Cheyenne gets rid of ‘Fuzzy’ and tells Barton he has posed as a Marshal in the past for business reasons….Cheyenne believes that Barton is not the leader of the gang behind the  trouble…As they talk, Jim Condon… and his sister, Carol… ride into town….Events reach a climax when the Condons and the Harts have a showdown battle, which is stopped by Cheynne and ‘Fuzzy’ before there are any serious casualties.  It is then revealed that Doc Peters is the man behind the trouble… When the cause of their trouble is explained, the Condons and the Harts are reconciled and Cheyenne rides off while Carol Condon and Bob Hart plan their future.” (publicity release)

CARAVAN TRAIL, THE  (1946)
C. 22 June 1946  P.R.C. Productions, Inc.  LP412
B&W  57 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Al La Rue, Emmett Lynn, Jean Carlin
Dir: Robert Emmett

“Two variations may be noted by Western students in ‘The  Caravan Trail’… First, the singing hero, Eddie Dean, is billed as one who refuses to pack a gun because he once killed a man and it hurt his feelings.  This is embarrassing because he is made Town Marshal by the villains when the old Marshal gets shot in the back.  He gets around it by being handy with his dukes, and by boldly inaugurating a new custom in the cactus belt.  He  swears in three bandit gunmen who happen to be old friends of his as the new deputies.  This is what he calls fighting fire with fire, to coin a stale phrase. It ends with the former bandits killing the current bandits.  Even Eddie Dean himself, lily-livered warbler that he is, has to break out his six-guns to help kill all the opposition in sight.” (New York Herald Tribune,  1946)

CHECK YOUR GUNS  (1947)
C. 24 Jan. 1948  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1430
B&W  55 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Nancy Gates, George Chesebro
Dir: Ray Taylor

“Moderately entertaining” singing western with Eddie Dean.  “Standard story formula deals with a band of outlaws led by Stan Jolley who have jeopardized the safety of law-abiding citizens in Red Gap.  In cahoots with a crooked judge… they give Dean and his pardner, Roscoe Ates, a rugged tussle before the last reel unfolds.  There’s little originality in the yarn but  plot works in plenty of shootin’ and ridin’…. Direction is brisk and… lensing stands out.” (Variety, November 19, 1947)

CHEYENNE TAKES OVER  (1947)
C. 25 Oct. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1309
B&W  56 Mins.  GC
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Nancy Gates, George Chesebro, Noah Beery
Dir: Ray Taylor

Lash La Rue western with whodunit twist, with a missing body instead of missing cattle.  “La Rue and his comic sidekick, Al St. John, dive into the plot early when they suspect something’s amiss at a ranch hard by Rock Creek.  Sure enough, badman George Chesebro has killed the rightful heir to the property to seize the premises himself.  Saloon keeper Nancy Gates has witnessed the murder but she’s afraid to inform the sheriff.  After the usual moonlight search for the will, some hard  ridin’ and shootin’, plus discovery of the body,  Chesebro is exposed and the law triumphs.”  (Variety,  December 10, 1947)

COLORADO SERENADE  (1946)
C. 19 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP410
B&W  68 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Mary Kenyon, Forrest Taylor
Dir: Robert Emmett

“Standard” Eddie Dean musical western “very similar to predecessor ‘Song of Wyoming’…. Only novelty in the film is the debut of a tough-looking young hombre, David Sharpe, who plays the role of an undercover Government agent.  Sharpe displays an acrobatic agility that injects fisticuffs and guntotin’ with the spirit of the westerner’s golden era when Tom Mix and Hoot Gibson rode the plains.  Eddie Dean looks a little pallid beside him although still a pleasant personality.  Voice is excellent…. [Abigal Adams] a striking looker, is well-  poised before the lens.  Roscoe Ates supplies his  stuttering comics for a few laughs…”  (Variety, June  12, 1946)

DOWN MISSOURI WAY  (1946)
C. 1 Aug. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP455
B&W  75 Mins.  GC
Cast: John Carradine, Martha O’Driscoll, William Wright, Eddie Dean
Dir: Joseph Berne

Musical hillbilly opus starring John Carradine, Martha  O’Driscoll, and Eddie Dean is “out of the rut of the motheaten oatrunner formula and in the groove with an upbeat musical score, a zany laugh-getting script and a good cast… one of PRC’s [Producers Releasing Corp.] best offerings to date. It’s a hillbilly mule opera with a tongue-in-cheek treatment… A total of eight numbers, all highly listenable and several of sock  quality…. Cast is topped by John Carradine who’s taken off the leash in his role of a Hollywood director and given plenty of space in which to deliberately ham up the screen…. Story is some frothy nonsense concerning the attempt to find a hep mule for a motion picture role in a hillbilly operetta.  Madcap angle is played up in the fact that the animal is matriculating as an  experimental student in an agricultural college.”   (Variety, August 14, 1946)

DRIFTIN’ RIVER  (1946)
C. 1 Oct. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP625
B&W  57 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Shirley Patterson, Lee Bennett
Dir: Robert Emmett Tansey

Singing cowboy adventure, starring Eddie Dean and his comic sidekick Soapy (Roscoe Ates). “Eddie… and his partner… under government orders, proceed to the ranch of J. C. Morgan to buy cavalry remounts …At the ranch, to their astonishment  [they] find that J. C. is a girl… She, along with her foreman Tennessee… is  doing a good job of running the ranch.  Trouble brews in the nearby town of Dow City.  The town is under the  control of a gangster trio… A member of this lawless gang is Tucson… one of J. C.’s most trusted ranch hands.  When Eddie decides to buy the horses, Tucson steals the herd to prevent their [sic] sale.  A squad of soldiers are brutally murdered when sent out to investigate. This arouses the townspeople and they elect Tennessee as sheriff.  When the outlaws murder  Tennessee, Eddie and Soapy sprint into action.  Along with Tucson, who has changed sides, they recapture the herd and send them stampeding through town.  After a vicious fight, in which the outlaws are killed or captured, peace descends upon Dow City once more.”  (publicity release)

 FIGHTING BILL CARSON  (1945)
C. 31 Oct. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13658
B&W  51 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Kay Hughes, I.Stanford Jolley
Dir: Sam Newfield

Billy the Kid western

FIGHTING VIGILANTES, THE  (1947)
C. 15 Nov. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1289
B&W  61 Mins.  GC  NL
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Jennifer Holt, Lee Morgan
Dir: Ray Taylor

“Run-of-the-mesa formula” western starring Lash La Rue and his comic sidekick Al St. John.  Female lead Jennifer Holt is “held up by three riders while driving a chuck wagon loaded with grub.  Later, it develops, she turns out to be the daughter of Steve Clark, who heads a group of law-abiding citizens known as ‘The Vigilantes.’ His organization is warring on George Chesebro, a  provision dispenser who seeks to rub out competitors by a variety of foul means.  Smack into this intrigue come La Rue and his sidekick St. John.  The boys round up all the culprits including the crooked sheriff… Chesebro’s aspirations in creating a monopoly on food sales are smashed.  The price of beans and flour come down and peace once more reigns throughout Gravel Gulch or whatever the locale was called.”  (Variety, November 26,  1947)

FLAMING BULLETS  (1945)
C. 15 Oct. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13573
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Tex Ritter, Dave O’Brien, Guy Wilkerson, Patricia Knox
Dir: Harry Fraser

Singing cowboy movie starring Tex Ritter and Dave O’Brien.  “Tex, Dave and Panhandle hear about a new racket in Alkali Springs.  Whenever a fugitive from justice is jailed, an outlaw gang frees him, then cold-bloodedly kills him and collects the reward money.  When the police captain discovers a striking resemblance between Dave and Steve Carson, a ‘wanted man,’ they cook up a plot.  A $10,000 reward is put on Carson’s head, and Dave poses as Carson.  Panhandle poses as ‘Doc’ Perkins, with Porky Smith, tough guy, as partner.  Dave, as Carson, comes to town to visit Belle, Carson’s girl. Dave is jailed and that night Luke, Tolliver and Jim, members of the gang take him to their hideout.  The real Steve Carson appears at the saloon to see Belle, and is locked up by the Marshall.  After a furious battle at the hideout, Dave is left for dead together with Jim,  who has been wounded.  Tex and the Marshall arrive at the hideout simultaneously with Pandhandle and Porky. Tex has Panhandle bring Dave back to the jail where he is hidden in a cell to await the arrival of Luke and Tolliver.  Dave sees the Marshall turn over the reward papers to Luke and Tolliver, and goes back to the saloon to get proof of the racket.  Belle hides him behind her door to watch the payoff. Then Dave sees Luke and  Tolliver turn over the ‘marked’ money to Eddie the bartender, he knows he is the top man.  Jim staggers into the saloon and informs the gang that the game is up, they try to escape, when Tex arrives, there is a free-for-all, and the gang is rounded up. Tex assures Belle that the real Steve Carson will get proper legal aid, and that they will eventually be reunited.  Then a  bottle of ‘Doc’ Perkins’ laughing gas is broken, and everybody in the saloon explodes into uncontrollable laughter.” (publicity release)

FRONTIER FUGITIVES  (1945)
C. 1 Sept. 1945  PRC Pictures, Inc.  LP13640
B&W  58 Mins.  GC
Cast: Tex Ritter, Dave O’Brien, Guy Wilkerson, Lorraine Miller
Dir: Harry Fraser

Singing cowboy movie starring Tex Ritter and Dave O’Brien as Texas Rangers


GENTLEMEN WITH GUNS  (1945)
C. 22 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP414
B&W  51 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Particia Knox, Steve Darrell

So-so western with Buster Crabbe. “Overload of fist fights, gun battles and long distance chases fail to help this hoss opry opus which even the kids will find hard to take.”  (Variety, March 13, 1946)  Crabbe learns that his side kick Al St. John has arranged a mail-order fiance through a matrimonial agency, and that a powerful neighboring rancher is trying to pressure St. John into selling valuable water rights.  The villain, licked by  the boys, vows to get even, and convinces the sheriff that St. John is a rustler.  The villain and the sheriff go after St. John; St. John is framed for the sheriff’s murder; the fiance shows up and offers to marry St. John immediately, planning to sell the water rights to the villain after the hanging. Crabbe has become suspicious, busts up the wedding, and takes St. John back to jail. The good citizens are hyped into a lynch mob by the  villain; St. John is despondent, figuring that his old pal has abandoned him.  Just in the nick, Crabbe beats the truth out of the villain that the murder was a phony, using ketchup for blood; St. John is saved from the mob; the fiance leaves town in a fury of frustration, and the pals are reunited as St. John vows bachelorhood forever. (publicity release)

GHOST OF HIDDEN VALLEY  (1946)
C. 3 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP417
B&W  56 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Jean Carlin, John Meredith
Dir: Sam Newfield

“…you need have no fear that Westerns also have fallen into the rut of the occult.  This ghost is merely a cattle-rustler who wants to scare people away from his favorite rustling ground, the hidden valley. The picture’s other slight departure from tradition is the Englishman who comes with his valet to take over a deserted ranch in the valley.  The poor fellow speaks in a very, very affected manner, wears wooly chaps, which  make the old cow-hands laugh, and only hurts his hand when he lets fly a right to the jaw of an adversary. Luckily for him he is assisted in his efforts in this strange, lawless land by burly Buster Crabbe and bearded Al “Fuzzy” St. John. Mr. Crabbe has never tussled more effectively, bowling over opponents two at a time and never losing a battle except when outnumbered ten to one.  The upshot of it is that the rustlers are caught,  the Britisher not only learns how to be a cowboy but also gets the girl, and the Messrs. Crabbe and St. John have earned another vote of thanks from a community in need of their extra-legal services. The horses in this picture deserve a special note.  Taking a cue from the percheron required to carry Crabbe from fight to fight, the management has outfitted most of the boys with dray horses.  It is a stimulating switch from the  intellectual equine Trigger, who wastes his time and talents carrying crooner Roy Rogers. These fugitives from an ice-wagon serve to remind you that many Westerns, even of the cheaper variety, put on a fine display of prancing, galloping horseflesh.  But you can’t have all that and two-ton Crabbe, too.” (New York  Post, July 17, 1946)

GHOST TOWN RENEGADES  (1947)
C. 17 June 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1134
B&W  58 Mins.  GC
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Jennifer Holt, Jack Ingram
Dir: Ray Taylor

Standard Lash La Rue western.  “Yarn has La Rue in his  customary role as an investigator for the U. S. marshal. With his partner, St. John, he tries to foil the plot of Jack Ingram to take over an abandoned mining town from its rightful owners.  There’s a rich gold vein on the premises, and if the proprietors are rubbed out, Ingram would clean up…Dean foils crook.” (Variety, July 30, 1947)

HAWK OF POWDER RIVER, THE  (1948)
C. 19 Dec. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1588
B&W  54 Mins.  GC
Cast:  Eddie Dean, Jennifer Holt, Steve Clark, June Carlson
Dir: Ray Taylor

Average singing western, starring Eddie Dean as a U. S. marshal on a secret mission.  “While the story formula remains basically similar to other films in this series, there’s a slight switch in that Jennifer Holt is the leader of the outlaws.  Her underlings kill her uncle who was on the verge of exposing her.  She also plots to rub out her cousin… but the scheme is nipped by Dean.  Usual chase sequences, fisticuffs and shooting sprinkle the reels.”  (Variety, March 3, 1948)

LIGHTNING RAIDERS  (1946)

C. 22 June 1946  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP413
B&W GC
Cast:  Buster Crabbe, Al St. John
Dir: Sam Newfield

“Buster Crabbe and Al St. John, better known to New York  Theater customers as Billy Carson and Fuzzy Jones, the  characters they represent in their westerns, are up to nothing new in their latest, ‘Lightning Raiders.’  They are chasing villains and being chased by villains who are trying to take a town away from the good people by the mortgage foreclosure method.  None of the citizens of the town stops to figure out why the banker gets richer while he gets poorer.  Billy Carson thinks that one out and eventually puts the finger on the banker and his hired hoodlums who have been making it impossible for the people to pay their debts.  Meanwhile, the hoodlums are trying to keep Billy from getting the evidence he needs to prove the bankers’ guilt.”  (New  York Daily News, March 20, 1946)

NAVAJO KID, THE  (1945)  
C. 8 Dec. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13700
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Bob Steele, Syd Saylor, Edward Cassidy, Caren Marsh
Dir: Harry Fraser

Average western featuring Bob Steele as adopted Indian who tracks down his foster father’s killer.  Plot involves a jumping frog, a locket with a picture of his real mother who was killed by Apaches, his reunion with his real father, who recognizes locket, romance, and so on.  “… two parts murder and revenge, spiced lightly with humor and stirred by the long arm of coincidence.  But since the shooting, riding, fisticuffs, and  jailbreaks follow through without scenic or romantic breathers, the outdoor addicts should buy this one without trouble.”  (Variety, January 30, 1946)

“Steele is the adopted Indian on the trail of the killer of his foster father in this routine series Western, one of the last Steele was to star in.  The plot, seemingly entirely constructed around coincidence, has Steele, after he’s had his revenge, arrested by the sheriff who it rapidly turns out, is his real father.  King’s son, Charles King Jnr, has a minor role and Saylor provides the comedy.” Hardy, The Encyclopedia of Western Movies, Woodbury Press, 1984.

OUTLAWS  OF THE PLAINS  (1946)
C. 22 Sept. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP10302
B&W  56 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Patti McCarty, Charles King, Jr.
Dir: Sam Newfield

” ‘Fuzzy’ Jones (Al ‘Fuzzy’ St. John) gains the reputation of a prophet in Showdown Flats when he is able to forecast events which later take place.  ‘Fuzzy’s’ ability to make predictions stems from a mysterious voice which offers him advice.  ‘Fuzzy’ believes the voice is that of a dead Indian Chief.  In reality, however, it is the mortal voice of Joe Dayton… a sharp operator, who with Nord Finner… and Ralph Emory… is planning to take advantage of ‘Fuzzy’s’ gullibility to swindle the townsmen out of a fortune.  When ‘Fuzzy’ is properly built up, Dayton tells him that there is a valuable gold mine at the foot of a nearby mountain.  ‘Fuzzy’ follows directions, finds gold nuggets, and prepares to stake a claim on the property.  However, just as ‘Fuzzy’ is ready to drive in the stake, Finner arrives and claims to be the owner, but offers to sell for $50,000.  Puzzled, ‘Fuzzy’ returns and goes into consultation with his advising voice.  He is advised… to raise the money among the townsmen and buy the property.  Delighted, ‘Fuzzy’ agrees and wants to send for his pal Billy Carson (Buster Crabbe) to share in the deal.  Dayton protests sending for Carson and unable to dissuade ‘Fuzzy’ he plans to ambush Billy.  Billy arrives safely at ‘Fuzzy’s’ ranch–but leaves in disgust when ‘Fuzzy’ refuses to confide in him.  In town, Billy meets Henry Reed… and Kitty… his daughter.   Reed is drawing money from the bank to invest in ‘Fuzzy’s’ deal.  When Reed takes the money to ‘Fuzzy’s’ shack, he accidently discovers the piping arrangements over which Dayton talks.  Furious at being discovered, Dayton kills Reed.  When ‘Fuzzy’ collects the money from the other townsmen, Finner comes in, hands over the deed and takes the cash before ‘Fuzzy’ has a chance to think.  Joined by his confederates, Finner rides for the border.  Billy, who has forced the plan from Emory, arrives soon after Finner leaves, and he and ‘Fuzzy’ are now joined by the sheriff… and ride in pursuit of the fleeing crooks.  After a desperate chase, the swindlers are overtaken and brought back to town.  The townsmen are delighted to hear that their property is now worth three times what they paid for it as the railroad now wants it for a right-of-way.” (publicity release)

OVERLAND RIDERS  (9146)
C. 21 Aug. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP531
B&W  54 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Patti McCarty, Slim Whittaker
Dir: Sam Newfield

“Bound for Devil’s Gap on a mysterious errand, Fuzzy Jones (Al ‘Fuzzy’ St. John) sprints into action when three bandits attack the stagecoach in which he is riding with Jean Barkley… Billy Carson (Buster Crabbe) rides in after the highwaymen have killed the stage driver.  Together Billy and Fuzzy kill one of the outlaws, take the other two as prisoners and guide the stage to its destination.  At Devil’s Gap, the stage is met by Jean’s father, Jeff Barkley…, Vic  Landrau…, and Hank Fowler… While Billy rides out to the Barkley ranch Vic and Hank discuss the frustrated holdup.  Though Vic is regarded as a respectable citizen, in reality he secretly heads an outlaw gang.  The holdup was staged to prevent Barkley from getting money to pay a due mortgage which Vic holds.   At the ranch Billy proves to be the man carrying the money Barkely needed.  Next morning, while Jeff is on his way in to town, he is ambushed by Vic and Hank, and the money stolen, Fuzzy is accused of the murder when he refuses to account for his being in the vicinity at the time of the crime.  The sheriff and Billy decide that Fuzzy  will be safe in jail.  He’ll be out of reach of the real outlaws.  Later Vic and Hank break open the jail and release the two highwaymen and at the same time Fuzzy.  Meanwhile, Billy has returned to the Barkley ranch and learned from Jean that her father had carried the money with him to pay off Vic.  Reasoning that if Vic is the criminal, the money will now be in his safe.  Billy rides in  to town, but on his way to Vic’s he is sidetracked by the jail break.  After he has helped restore order, he continues on his way.  At Vic’s office he sees Jean about to make a deal with the outlaw.  After a hand to hand fight between Vic and Billy, Vic’s perfidy is proved.  Fuzzy then reveals his mysterious business was knowledge that the new railroad is going through the Barkley property.  He has been trying to purchase land in line with the right of way.  Billy convinces Fuzzy that he was not meant to be a land owner anyway, as they ride off together.” (publicity release)

PIONEER JUSTICE  (1947)
C. 29 May 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1133
B&W  54 Mins.  GC
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Jennifer Holt, William Fawcett
Dir: Ray Taylor

“For its purpose, ‘Pioneer Justice’ serves well.  It’s a fast-moving, action-crammed film which, though lacking in finesse, will keep the kiddies on the edge of their seats.  Scripting, thesping and production are strictly coin-savin’ standard but there’s no stinting on the gunfighting, hoof-beating or knuckle-scraping. Yarn revolves around efforts of ‘Lash’ La Rue and his crusty sidekick, Al St. John, to track down the leader of a group of varmints trying to drive the law-abiding ranchers out of the far west.  Mild suggestion of romance is injected when Jennifer Holt becomes the gang’s target.  La Rue punches, shoots and whiplashes straight to the mark and collars a madman who fashions himself a Napoleon with spurs on.  La Rue, handling a long whip in Mark of Zorro  style, makes for a tough-looking, straight-talking cowboy hero who should appeal to the junior-age fans.  St. John is okay as the comedy support although not given much to do.  Miss Holt is a nice looker and turns in a pleasant performance.  Rest of the cast grimace their way through stock parts.” (Variety, July 2, 1947)                                                                      

PRAIRIE BADMEN  (1946)
C. 9 July 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc. LP479
B&W  55 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Patricia Knox, Charles King
Dir: Sam Newfield

“Routine” Buster Crabbe western.  “Story concerns the travails of a traveling medicine show which is set upon by a group of bad men who learn of the proprietor’s possession of a treasure map.  Fortunately Buster Crabbe and Al (Fuzzy) St. John hook up with the outfit to ultimately outwit the baddies.  Bright spot in the cast is [St. John’s] comedies.  He brings in some good bits of business to perk up the picture when the routine script bogs the proceedings down too heavily.” (Variety,  July 24, 1946)

PRAIRIE OUTLAWS  (1945)
C. 12 May 1948  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1669
B&W  55 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Sarah Padden, Al La Rue
Dir: Robert Emmett Tansey

Singing western with Eddie Dean and his horse Flash.  He sings “Ride on the Tide of a Song” and “Journey’s End.”

“When the request of Bill Butler…, in charge of stringing telegraph wires across the plains for cavalry to protect his men from outlaws is refused, the job of protecting the line goes to three wandering cowhands, Eddie (Eddie Dean), Stormy (Al La Rue) and Soapy (Roscoe Ates).  Drake Dawson… regarded as the leading citizen of a nearby town but really a crook does everything in his power to prevent the stringing of wires.  He foments an Indian uprising.  He has his men beat up Soapy and Butler.  Suspicious, Eddie sends Soapy and a friend, Skinny (Buzzy Henry), to obtain the criminal records of Dawson and his cronies.  They are ambushed and Skinny is wounded.  One of the waylayers drops a gun which Skinny recognizes as one taken from his father who had been murdered years before.  Soapy locates Eddie and the two return to the town to find that Dawson has taken over and, together with his hoodlums, is running  the place. Eddie sends for the Arizona Rangers and a wild gunfight ensures.  Dawson and his gang are beaten and he is revealed as the wielder of the gun taken from Skinny’s father.  He is sent to prison and his gang broken up.  The installation of the telegraph goes on.” (publicity release)

[See Synopsis for “WILD WEST” for more on this film.]

PRAIRIE RUSTLERS  (1945)
C. 20 Nov. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13569
B&W  56 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Evelyn Finley, Karl Hackett
Dir: Sam Newfield

Buster Crabbe western “… provides everything that the  outdoor-film fan wants– plenty of chases, gunplay, mild humor and romance.  And, for an added twist, this one has Crabbe in a dual role of hero and villain, in which he knocks himself out in a rough-and-tumble fight with himself in the last reel…. [Al] St. John, bewhiskered and confused, supplies the comedy throughout the film, and is a neat foil for the star.”  (Variety, January 16,  1946)

RANGE BEYOND THE BLUE  (1947)
C. 17 March 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP892
B&W  55 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Helen Mowery, Bob Duncan
Dir: Ray Taylor

Singing western starring Eddie Dean.  “With plenty of gunplay, a fair plot and okay songs spotted in the right places, ‘Range Beyond the Blue’ emerges as a better-than-average oatuner in the Eddie Dean series.  Cayuse classic should find acceptance in most action situations.  Still operating as undercover investigators, Eddie Dean and pardner, Roscoe Ates, foil a stagecoach holdup on a line owned and operated by Helen Mowery.  Stage’s gold shipments ostensibly are the loot sought by the road agents, but Dean suspects something else is behind the frequent attacks.  Suspense built up by scripter Patricia Harper should hold an audience even though the film’s denouement is rather obvious.  Climax is reached with the law’s rout of the bandits, led by Bob Duncan.  Latter’s a tool of Ted Adams, prexy of the local bank, who seeks to gain control of Miss Mowery’s stage line.  In the melee between the outlaws and a posse headed by Dean and Ates, there’s plenty of six-shootin’ before the badmen are rounded up and Adams bites the dust.  Thesping, direction and camera are relatively good in view of the low budget.” (Variety, March 12, 1947)

RED STALLION, THE  (1947)
C. 13 June 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1216
Color 82 Mins.  GC
Cast: Robert Paige, Noreen Nash, Ted Donaldson, Jane Darwell,  Daisy
Dir: Lesley Selander

“Bryan Foy’s medicine men have tossed together a canny mixture in ‘The Red Stallion,’ Cinecolored outdoor spectacular with broad appeal to all levels. It’s a parlay of a horse, a boy and a dog, with a bear as the heavy. And the animal kingdom makes for fancy entertainment.  The exhib should gallop home on ‘Stallion’ with more than spurs a-jingling. There aren’t any potent marquee names in this pic but the exploitation angle is obvious. It’s a buildup, mainly of a story about a mighty bear vs. horse that spells nifty climaxing.  Credit the camera also with some pretty mountain country.  Racing scenes play up the ponies nicely to clinch the appeal to horse lovers.  Dimming the film’s lustre are some overly saccharine sequences revolving about the boy (Ted Donaldson) and his grandmother’s (Jane Darwell) efforts to save the ranch from the traditional foreclosure.  These scenes, especially an overlong prayer closeup, could stand judicious scissoring. First half of pic needs general pepping. Once the camera moves into high to depict the bear-horse fracas and the race that follows, pace pickup is sharp and effective.For the story, simply, is how a boy finds a foal, falls in love with it, and trains it to be a great racer.  And the prelims are loaded for the second-half explosion.  In winning the race and thereby inducing a stable-tycoon to buy a share in the nag, it’s obvious that the old homestead is saved.  Hardly secondary is the horse’s hatred for bears and the vendetta that’s liquidated in the epic battle.  Noteworthy, also, is a Phi Beta Kappa dog, Daisy,  which does some scene larceny on its own.  Donaldson as the boy is adequate.  Camera work is good.  The animals scenes must have taken considerable doing.  Direction wavers at first but finds itself in the closeout reels.” (Variety, July 16, 1947)

RED STALLION IN THE ROCKIES  (1949)
C. 2 March 1949  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP2184
Color/B&W  85 Mins.  GC
Cast: Arthur Franz, Wallace Ford, Ray Collins, Jean Heather, Leatrice Joy
Dir: Ralph Murphy

Good outdoors “save the horse” saga.  “Simple story is  unfolded against the magnificent backdrop of the  Colorado Rockies…. Footage gets in a load of movement  concerning wild horse hunts, equine fights, and even a  circus sequence…. The story of an ex-circus horse who  is raiding Colorado ranches of mares to build up his own  harem…”  The horse is “recognized by two stranded big  top workers as a trick steed.  Pair catch him, protect  him from the ranchers, and when the horse saves a  rancher’s wife from a wild elk, he’s permitted to return  to the sawdust trail.  There’s a slight romance between  Jean Heather, ranch girl, and Arthur Franz, circus man,  and it comes off pleasantly…. lensing is excellent in  pointing up exciting moments…” (Variety, March 16,  1949)

RETURN OF THE LASH  (1947)
C. 23 July 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1251
Color  53 Mins.  GC
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Mary Maynard, Brad Slaven
Dir: Ray Taylor

“Adequate” western starring blackskin bullwhip wielding Lash La Rue as Cheyenne Davis, a western Robin Hood, and Al St. John as his comic sidekick.  “Plot is a variation on the old ‘water rights and railroad right-of-way’ ingredients.  George Chesebro is the heavy who seeks to rook the settlers.  But La Rue and St. John hit upon raising some necessary cash for the ranchers by rounding up some six of the outlaws, all of whom have a stiff  price on their heads.  En route home with the coin, St. John falls from his hoss and can’t recall his identity nor what happened to the money.  However, he regains his memory in a free-for-all fisticuff climax with Chesebro’s men, which results in a complete victory for the ranchers and recovery of the reward cash.”  (Variety, November 12, 1947)

SIX GUN MAN  (1946)
C. 28 Jan. 1946  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP77
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Bob Steele, Syd Saylor, Jimmie Martin, Jean Carlin
Dir: Harry Fraser

“Four fistfights, three gun battles and a stage holdup, all crowded into 59 minutes, aren’t enough to make this formula westerner into anything pulse-quickening. Lacking imagination or skill, these affrays tend to run one into another, with the effect of tedium rather than excitement. Moreover, the story, the usual thing about cattle hijackers and the superman U. S. marshal, creaks too much to help. Bob Steele as the marshal woodenly performs the wonders of his trade. Syd Saylor, as comic buddy to Steele, has his hooks out for the laughs, but the stilted lines and unfunny situations have burdened him with an impossible task. Performances by the rest of the cast add nothing. Even the deep-eyed addicts won’t go for this one.”  (Variety, January 23, 1946)

SONG OF OLD WYOMING  (1945)
C. 4 Nov. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13580
B&W/Cinecolor  65 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Jennifer Holt, Lian Keith, Al La Rue
Dir: Robert Emmett

“Run-of-the-mill” musical western starring Eddie Dean. “Yarn concerns the efforts of a patriotic old lady… to drive a gang of spoilers out of Wyoming and make the territory a part of the Union.  The Cheyenne Kid [Al La Rue] is imported… to rub her out and the long arm of coincidence gets a good workout and the Kid turns up to be old gal’s longlost son…. Dean appealingly croons three standard saddle tunes with some excellent choral  support…. [and] heads a competent roster of performers.” (Variety September 5, 1945; re-reviewed to highlight cinecolor filming on April 10, 1946)

“This was the first of Dean’s ill-fated PRC series intended to make him a star.  But even though there was little competition around, 1945 being the beginning of the end of the series Western, Dean was rapidly eclipsed by one of the film’s featured players, LaRue, soon to find fame as Lash LaRue.  LaRue plays Cheyenne, the all-in-black gunman with a snarl for a voice, who reforms just in time to die at the end of the movie.  Dean is the singing hero, imported by the villains to sabotage an old lady’s ranch and turning out to be her long-lost son.  [Writer] Kavanaugh’s plot is decidely routine. The film was made in Cinecolor, a cheap colour process best remembered for inspiring Kenneth Tynan’s witty clerihew:

            I can’t bear films in sepia
Except about once every leap-year
And about those in Cinecolor,
I’m even cynicaller ”

Hardy, The Encyclopedia of Western Movies, Woodbury Press, 1984.

STAGECOACH OUTLAWS  (1945)
C. 17 Aug. 1945  P.R.C. Pictures, Inc.  LP13578
B&W  50 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Frances Gladwin, Ed Cassidy
Dir: Sam Newfield

“Billy Carson, a rambling cowpoke, prevents the hold-up of the Red River Express stage and saves Linda Bowen, daughter of the owner, from being kidnapped. The hold-up is part of the plan of Steve Kirby, gambler and gang leader, to force Jed Bowen to sell the line to him.  When henchmen report their failure, Kirby brings about the release from jail of Matt Brawley, tough killer, intending to use him as a gun fighter and also hoping to beat Brawley out of the loot of several bank hold- ups. But the sheriff makes the mistake of leaving Fuzzy Jones, pal of Carson, in charge of the jail. Brawley tricks Fuzzy, locks him up and escapes. The gangsters arrive,mistake Fuzzy for Brawley, release him and take him to the hide-out. Fuzzy, inducted into the gang, tries to play tough, convulsing Carson who watches the proceedings. Carson contacts Fuzzy at the hotel in Ghost Town, the hide-out, and learns that the gang plans to hold up a stage and steal the Aztec mine payroll. Disguised as an Indian, Billy drives an old wagon containing the money ahead of the stage. The gang holds up the stage but gets only a box of iron washers.  Vic, one of the gang, reports the second failure to Kirby in Cherokee, where Kirby has his saloon. Brawley shows up, exposing Fuzzy as an imposter.  Billy, fearing for Fuzzy, speeds to Ghost Town to save him, and Linda Bowen follows him. Kirby’s men kidnap Linda on the way, Kirby planning to hold her as a hostage to force her father to sell the stage line. The outlaws take Linda to Ghost Town just in time to get into a hot free-for-all fight with Carson and Fuzzy, which ends in the capture of three of the bandits. Back at Kirby’s saloon, Vic is about to expose  the gambler as the master mind, when Kirby shoots him and is, in turn, shot by Carson. Brawley, in charge of Fuzzy, is taken back to the jail,  and Billy rides along, just to see that his pal doesn’t get into any more trouble.” (publicity release)

STAGE TO MESA CITY  (1948)
C. 1 Nov. 1947 Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1352
B&W  52 Mins.  GC
Cast: Lash La Rue, Al St. John, Jennifer Holt, George Chesebro
Dir: Ray Taylor

“A formula western, ‘Stage to Mesa City’ is a fair galloper with ‘Lash’ La Rue supplying the marquee lure. On the overall, film is just an average filler for the action houses. As his latest mission, U. S. Marshal La Rue is scrutinizing the much-attacked Mesa City stage line. A lucrative mail contract is coming up and unknown outlaws are attempting to take over the line. Suspicion eventually falls upon the postmaster, George Chesebro. He’s bagged by La Rue in a typical toe-to- toe slugging match. La Rue turns in his usual brisk performance as the marshal. Al ‘Fuzzy’ St. John handles the comedy while Chesebro is a so-so heavy.  Jennifer Holt lends some pulchritude in the lone femme role. Supporting players are mediocre. Scripting… makes liberal use of the stock plot ingredients found in most films of this category…direction is satisfactory….Lensing is okay, and… editing nearly pared the footage to a snappy 52 minutes.” (Variety, January 21, 1948)

STARS OVER TEXAS  (1946)
C. 18 Nov. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP734
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Shirley Patterson, Lee Bennett
Dir: Robert Emmett Tansey

Musical western starring Eddie Dean is “moderately diverting.”  Deals with the nefarious scheming of a ranch owner who covets his neighbor’s government contract. “Plenty of badly aimed lead bites the air through the ensuing reelage before [the villain] and his cohorts are brought to justice.”  Dean’s three songs are  better than average stirrup songs.” (Variety, December  25, 1946)

TERRORS ON HORSEBACK  (1946)
C. 14 Aug. 1946 Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP491
B&W  55 Mins.  GC
Cast: Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, Patti McCarthy, I. Stanford Jolley
Dir: Sam Newfield

“… A modest budgeter that’s little more than a run-of-the-mine galloper which again teams Buster Crabbe and Al (Fuzzy) St. John as the stalwarts who bring the dastards of the cow country to justice…. This time the team clear up a stagecoach robbery in which all riders were massacred by the gunman… some nifty galloping and plenty fisticuffs…. Unusual slant… is absence of love interest and only two femmes in cast–… sheriff’s wife  and… gambling hall siren, at whom nobody makes  passes.” (Variety, April 17, 1946)

THUNDER TOWN  (1946)
C. 21 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP397
B&W  57 Mins.  GC
Cast: Bob Steele, Syd Saylor, Ellen Hall, Bud Geary
Dir: Harry Fraser

“Bob Steele is back on New York screen–burdened with a new mustache and the drastic handicap of being cast as a parolee forbidden to tote any kind of shootin’ irons. ‘Thunder Town’ is occasionally dull on that account, being mostly a series of ambushes Bob can’t meet head-on, but Syd Saylor’s comedy proves better than is usually provided by westerns. Story has Steele framed and imprisoned by a gang guilty of robbery and murder.  The task of proving himself innocent and exposing the culprits is vastly complicated by the fact that he’s an ex-convict whose freedom depends on his good behavior. By way of a plot dividend, there’s some prospective crookedness in ranch grabbing, also the threat of forcing Steele’s fiance to marry one of the villains.”  (New York Daily News, 1946)

TIOGA KID, THE  (1948)
C. 12 June 1948  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1670
B&W  54 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Jennifer Holt, Dennis Moore
Dir: Ray Taylor

Better-than-average musical western starring Eddie Dean “… taking on a dual role, that of a Texas Ranger as well as a notorious outlaw, ‘The Tioga Kid.’ Latter’s a lone wolf who attempts to muscle in on a band of rustlers… Henchmen of the outlaw chieftain prey on horses of ranch owner Jennifer Holt and climax their crimes by stealing a Federal payroll…. three vocal numbers supply the musical background…. shows sharp  improvement over some of its immediate predecessors.”  (Variety, March 10, 1948)

TUMBLEWEED TRAIL  (1946)
C. 28 Oct. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP687
B&W  59 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Flash, Roscoe Ates, Johnny McGovern
Dir: Robert Emmett Tansey

“Poured out of the same mold used for all the other Eddie Dean starrers, ‘Tumbleweed Trail’ rates as standard fare for the oatuner trade. Pic is compounded out of the regular ingredients of obvious good guys vs. bad guys plot, gun and fist play, a speck of romance, and a flock of fair saddle tunes delivered by Dean with banjo obligato. Production accouterments, as usual, are held down to the barest minimum with scripting, thesping and camera work of mediocre calibre. Dean plays an undercover agent for the law on the trail of a gang of cattle rustlers. With sidekick Roscoe Ates, still using the stuttering routine for laughs, Dean takes a ranchhand job with a cowgal whose father has been murdered. After lots of hard riding and devious schemes to trap the killer, Dean finally tags his man and makes everybody happy by bringing the so called dead man out of hiding….” (Variety, November 6, 1946)

WEST TO GLORY  (1947)
C. 22 April 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP951
B&W  61 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Delores Castle, Gregg Barton
Dir: Ray Taylor

Singing western with Eddie Dean. “Songs are pleasant, shooting ample and riding graphic. Lazy, slow story and corny humor won’t hurt much…. Story has Eddie Dean as a U. S. sheriff unmasking a gang of crooks trying to steal gold and precious jewels from a Mexican rancher somewhere north of the border. Lame story, trite  dialog don’t excite, but accent is rather on romance and music.  Dean warbles three cowboy ballads very pleasantly in a light, appealing lyric tenor, assisted by the Sunshine Boys, instrumental quartet.  Songs are above average… Lensing, director stack up okay, with some good outdoor shots to catch the scenic-minded eye.”  (Variety, April 30, 1947)

WESTWARD TRAIL, THE  (1948)
C. 25 Oct. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1526
B&W  58 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Phyliss Planchard, Steve Drake
Dir: Ray Taylor

Average singing western, starring Eddie Dean. “For this opus Dean is cast as a representative of the U. S. marshal. He hides his identity through most of the footage but flashes the badge of office in time to win the confidence of Phyliss Planchard, who’s on the verge of losing her newly-purchased ranch to the scheming Bob Duncan. Dean contribs a standard performance doling out the fisticuffs where necessary. He also warbles several  tunes of which the interminable ‘When Shorty Plays The  Schottische’ rates the dubious distinction of having almost  many choruses as ‘Casey Jones.'” (Variety, February 25, 1949)

WILD COUNTRY  (1947)
C. 7 Jan. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP778
B&W  59 Mins.  PD
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Peggy Wynn, Douglas Fowley
Dir: Ray Taylor

Corny Eddie Dean singing western. “Replete with such dialog gems as ‘They must’ve taken the short cut,’ ‘Wild Country’ deals with Dean, a U. S. marshal, and his pal Soapy (Roscoe Ates) who track down… an escaped convict who kills the sheriff responsible for his time in stir. Conniving with the local tavernkeeper… [the con] conspires to knock off daughter of the late sheriff and  take over her ranch, but Dean foils the thugs, of course.” (Variety, January 29, 1947)

WILD WEST  (1946)
C. 1 Dec. 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP712
Cinecolor 75 Mins.  GC
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Al La Rue, Robert Henry
Dir: Robert Emmett Tansey

“Production of ‘Wild West’ indicates that it’s one of PRC’s more ambitious efforts in which the producers were overly careful with detail at the expense of plot development in terms of action.  Gaudy Cinecolor photography and frequent inclusion of songs slow up the movent considerably, but hastening process toward the close of the film compensates for earlier lapses, and ‘Wild West’ winds up as one of the better westerns that will keep the Saturday matinee trade happy. Big item in the film is Eddie Dean whose buildup as nag-epic boxoffice is gaining with each picture.  He has one of the better sets of pipes among the cowboy Carusos and once he gets rid of his self-conscious delivery, his top billing will carry more value at the b.o. Al Larue also has potentialities in westerns. He impresses as likely to develop as boxoffice in this type film. Story is along usual lines. Plot deals with a trio of Rangers who have come to assist an engineer laying cable for a telegraph. Villains attempt to stymie this procedure as rapid communications will play havoc with their lucrative rackets. Eventually Dean, Larue and Roscoe Ates overcome the opposition with a last-minute rescue by a large force of U. S. Rangers providing a valuable assist. The Cinecolor photography registers well in the outdoor scenes, but loses much effect on the cast. For instance, it’s said that one of the femme leads, Jean Carlin, is a red-head, but that can’t be proved by the color camera. Direction… hits a fast stride, once the film’s songs are disposed of. Tunes, incidentally, are above par for this type film.” (Variety, November 27, 1946)

“The last of Dean’s series Westerns for PRC to be made in Cinecolor (the company’s cheap and gaudy version of Technicolor), Wild West sees LaRue return to the series to handle the more athletic bits of action.  He, Dean and comic support Ates are the trio of Texas Rangers who assist in the laying of telegraph lines.  In one of the oddest moves ever, in 1948 [Director] Tansey recut the film to lose some 15 minutes and re-issued it as Prairie Outlaw in black and white to better trade reviews than this received.” Hardy, The Encyclopedia of Western Movies, The Woodbury Press, 1984.

YANKEE FAKIR  (1947)
C. 17 March 1947  Republic Pictures Corp.  LP903
B&W  70 Mins.  GC
Cast: Joan Woodbury, Douglas Fowley, Clem Bevans, Marc Lawrence
Dir: W. Lee Wilder

“Modest budgeted comedy mystery…. Yarn revolves around… an itinerant salesman, who wanders into a western town around the turn of the century and falls for the daughter of the sheriff.  After latter is killed by a gang of smugglers [he] sets about tracking down the varmint through a complicated series of ruses. Expose of the varmints in the end takes place when a local  youngster simply identifies the killer and his boss who happens to be the town banker.”  (Variety, April 9,  1947)