The famous western fiction writer Bob Morris arrives at the Henderson ranch. He quickly realizes the hanging, runaway horses, and the shootout are fakes for his benefit. But when a real robbery takes place he thinks it's another fake.
Football star Ted Radcliffe goes west to manage an inherited cattle ranch. Empire builder and cattle thief Don Paco is hounded by El Coyote (who is really Don Bob) who now has a partner in ... See full summary »
Alfred L. Werker
To maintain his vast ranch holdings, Henry Steele holds Jane, the daughter of his deceased business partner, against her will. Stalwart ranger Bob Sanborn rescues Jane in a riding incident and is invited to stay over at the ranch by the malevolent Steele, who catches on immediately to the fact that Sanborn has been asked by Jane to help her escape. Steele escorts Bob off the ranch just after giving the order to his vicious ranch hands, Mudo and Tonto, not to let him leave alive. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mystery Ranch may well have the best teaming of bad guy and henchman ever. It is hard to find such unrepentant evil with such joy in accomplishment than Charles Middleton and Noble Johnson. The James Bond films had such pairings but they were done tongue in cheek. Here the evil is deadly serious but not outrageous in the tie-her-to-the-railroad-tracks vein. The fact that the heroine is taking matters into her own hands helps a lot. The cinematography shows major studio quality. All of this raises the film well above standard B westerns.
Don't get me wrong: Mystery Ranch is no magnum opus. But put in perspective with B westerns it's head and shoulders above the pack. I give it an 8 because of Middleton and Johnson.
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