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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In old California Gasparo De Gama (Joe de la Cruz), leader of a group
of Mexican settlers who are now United States citizens, surprises a
band of cattle-rustlers. He is fighting for his life when Tom Morgan
(Tom Tyler), his father (John Elliott) and pal Pedro Gonzales (Earl
Dwire)ride to his rescue. Tom learns from Gasparo De Gama that the
rustlers belong to a gang headed by Frank Cleyburn (William Gould), a
political king in San Diego and also a noted card-sharp and receiver of
rustled cattle. Gasparo De Gama has recently discovered gold on his
homestead and, as a result, Cleyburn is employing every means at his
command to take their lands from the settlers. The men ride to the
settlement and the elder Morgan decides to remain there temporarily for
purposes of examining the mine as he is considering buying an
half-interest. Tom and Pedro Gonzales continue their journey toward the
Morgan hacienda below the Mexican border.
That night, there is a costume-fiesta held at the Morgam hacienda and a coach with outriders drives up. The driver (Herman Hack) has lost his way and inquires about the road to San Diego. Tom catches sight of a pretty girl, Helen Cleyburn (Lillian Gilmore), and invites her to take part in the festivities. She accepts and Tom learns that she is the niece of Frank Cleyburn (William Gould), just arrived, on a surprise visit from the East to her uncle. She thanks Tom for the refreshments and proceeds on her journey. Meanwhile, Tom's father has completed his investigation of the mine's possibilities, is satisfied with the financial outlook and decides to buy an half-interest. Just as Mr. Morgan and Gasparo De Gama are considering the deal, Cleyburn's henchmen ride up and give the settlers notice to abandon their homesteads or be removed by force. The settlers refuse, a gunbattle ensues and Mr. Morgan is killed. A rider from the settlement gives the alarm to Tom, and he and Pedro Gonzales and their vaqueros gallop to the rescue but arrive too late. Tom makes a solemn oath to take revenge on Cleyburn. His plan of vengeance involves the participation of a mountain-bandit, Jose Porfirio (Charles 'Slim' Whitaker), known far and wide as The Night Hawk. Tom confers with Jose Porfirio, known far and wide and on here as The Night Hawk, and they strike a bargain, whereby Tom will assume the role of The Night Hawk, and devote himself to raids on Cleyburn's properties seizing the latter's gold treasure,his horses and payrolls. He will then turn the loot over to the poor settlers who have been ruined by the ruthless Cleyburn's robbery of their homesteads. He will play the part of a modern Robin Hood a la Joaquin Murietta, disguised as Jose Porfirio, known far and wide as The Night Hawk. He also plans on using Helen Cleyburn as a means to help his revenge quest. He will woo and win her, propose marriage and when accepted, will turn her over to Jose Porfirio, known far and wide as The Night Hawk, who will wed her and force Cleyburn to pay out his last cent in order to have the marriage annulled. Jose the Night Hawk seems to like this part of the plan best. Tom carries out his scheme but with a slight hitch, for he falls in love with Helen, the girl he intended to deceive. This complicates things somewhat and he confesses everything to her. However, as Helen has also fallen in love with him, she forgives her impetuous lover. They make plans to notify her uncle of their engagement and marry, without revealing Tom's prior intentions and working agreement with Jose Porfirio, known far and....
Well. to nobody's great surprise, the real Night Hawk is a bit displeased with this change of plans and he pulls his own double-cross and sets a trap in which Tom, posing as The Night Hawk, lands, whereby Tom is arrested as being The Night Hawk and tossed in jail by the Sheriff (Frank Ellis.) Tom escapes from jail, rescues Helen from Jose Porfirio, who is working on some pre-nuptials prior to annulment, and brings all the bad guys and henchies(George Chesebro, George "Arizona Slim" Hazel, Ben Corbett, Wally Wales & Company) to justice...and he and Helen face a happy future together.
This remake has a whole lot of plot.
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