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The Texas Rangers (1936)

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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 349 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 7 critic

Two down-on-their-luck former outlaws volunteer to be Texas Rangers and find themselves assigned to bring in an old friend, now a notorious outlaw.



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Title: The Texas Rangers (1936)

The Texas Rangers (1936) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Jack Oakie ...
Edward Ellis ...
Benny Bartlett ...
David (as Bennie Bartlett)
Frank Shannon ...
Capt. Stafford
Frank Cordell ...
Ranger Ditson
Richard Carle ...
Casper Johnson
Jed Prouty ...
District Attorney Dave Twitchell
Fred Kohler ...
Jess Higgins (as Fred Kohler Sr.)
Judge Snow (as George Hayes)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 August 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Texas Rangers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


After enlisting in the Texas Rangers, Jim puts his hat on twice. See more »


Wahoo Jones: Looks like you got me, Sam, but I'll lay my cards on the table. I'll shoot straight.
Sam McGee: [shooting Wahoo under the table] So will I.
See more »


Followed by The Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940) See more »


I Can't Play My Banjo
Music by Phil Boutelje
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
See more »

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User Reviews

An effort to broaden Fred MacMurray's appeal
18 June 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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