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Edward H. Griffith
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Jim Hawkins and Wahoo Jones are stagecoach robbers who head to Texas to find Sam McGee, their partner. Once there, low on funds, they join the Texas Rangers, come across Sam, and decide to run their game by sending Sam inside information. Meanwhile, though, in pacifying rebellious Indians, Jim and Wahoo start to take on the code of the Rangers, and the daughter of the Ranger's major sets her sights on Jim. Can there be honor among thieves, or are Jim, Wahoo, and Sam on a collision course? As a lawless frontier becomes a civilized land, which side will the boys chose? Written by
I'm sure in casting The Texas Rangers Paramount had it in mind to broaden Fred MacMurray's appeal by putting him in a western. MacMurray had been a star at Paramount for two years and had appeared in mostly light comic parts as he did throughout his career. I mean Paramount could have cast Gary Cooper or Joel McCrea, both of whom were available at the studio. MacMurray did the film and gave a creditable performance, but as he remarked, "the horse and I were never as one." He never really did feel comfortable in westerns and ones he later appeared in were long after his Paramount studio days were over.
The Texas Rangers film is based on stories derived from Walter Presscott Webb's authoritative history of the legendary law enforcement outfit which was only published a few years back. Fred MacMurray, Jack Oakie and Lloyd Nolan play three outlaws who drift into Texas and become separated. MacMurray and Oakie join the Texas Rangers and Nolan continues his outlaw ways.
Lots of good action here folks. A really great Comanche Indian attack sequence is well staged by Director King Vidor. Lots of familiar western faces support the leads like Fred Kohler and Gabby Hayes. Edward Ellis as the commandant of the Texas Rangers comes off a lot like Lewis Stone and had MGM instead of Paramount had made this film, Lewis Stone definitely would have been cast in Ellis's role.
Despite MacMurray's misgivings about westerns, The Texas Rangers is a pretty good action western with great character development for the three leads.
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