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Border Law (1931)

Passed | | Western | 15 October 1931 (USA)
When Shag Smith kills Jim's brother Bob, Jim and Thunder quit the rangers so they can cross the border and join Smith's gang. Jim's plan is to get the gang to cross back over the border where the rangers will be waiting.



(story), (adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
Shag Smith (as James Mason)
Frank Rice ...
Don Chapman ...
Lou Hicks ...
Dave - Henchman (as Louis Hickus)
F.R. Smith ...
John Wallace ...


Jim Houston (Buck Jones)resigns from the Texas Rangers so he can cross the border into Mexico and devote all his time to the capture of Shag Smith (Jim Mason) and his bandit gang who have murdered Jim's young brother, Bob (Don Chapman.) Using the alias of the Pecos Kid, a bandit he recently captured, Jim crosses the border with his pal, "Thunder" Rogers (Frank Rice and finds Smith and his gang at a cantina. Smith thinks about inviting Jim/The Pecos Kid with joining his gang but is persuaded not to by his henchman, Dave, (Lou Hicks), who hates Jim because of the latter's success with Tonita ( Lupita Tovar), the cantina dancer. Jim plots to get Smith and his gang to cross the border into Texas in order to arrest them. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gang | ranger | texas | brother | henchman | See All (66) »


See the Ace of Outdoor Stars Lead the Bandits into the Rangers' Trap and Win a Dancing Senorita! See more »




Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lei da Fronteira  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Sony Pictures Television print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 100 Columbia features, mostly Westerns, sold to Hygo Television Films in the 1950s, which marketed them under the name of Gail Pictures; opening credits were redesigned, with some titles misspelled, the credit order of the players rearranged, some names misspelled, and new end titles attached, thus eliminating any evidence of their Columbia roots. Apparently, the original material was not retained in most of the cases, and the films have survived, even in the Sony library, only with these haphazardly created replacement opening and end credits. See more »


[Jim has been wounded in a gunfight]
Tonita: Are you shot, Jimmy?
Jim Houston, Texas Ranger: Only half shot, honey.
See more »


Remade as The Fighting Ranger (1934) See more »


Adios Amigo
Composer unknown
Sung by Lupita Tovar
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User Reviews

Aside from some very nice stunt-work, it's a rather unremarkable western.
20 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

I noticed there were comments both ways about possible gay subtext in this film. Well, as some of the gayest looking scenes occurred between characters who were brothers in the film, I don't think that there really is that much in it that could be interpreted as gay. But there is one scene where a guy tells Buck Jones and his rival to take off there clothes and have at it--that is pretty gay! So, I'd say both reviewers have a point--and the truth seems somewhere in the middle.

As far as the rest of the film goes, aside from a couple remarkable things (the romance and the stunts), this is a completely ordinary and unremarkable film. Plus, the acting is occasionally quite stiff and clumsy. As far as the romance goes, back in 1931, it was a much more bigoted world. So, having Buck fall in love with a Mexican lady was unusual. Also, towards the end of the film, several stunts (especially the guy seamlessly grabbing his friend while on horseback) were amazingly good.

The plot is about what you'd expect. A gang is operating at the border with Mexico and keep crossing back and forth to avoid capture. After Buck's brother is murdered by them, he vows to destroy them and goes undercover. I've seen a ton of old B-westerns and this plot is very, very familiar. Not bad--just not all that good either.

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