Foreign agents are smuggling monium (a chemical used in producing poison gas) into Mexico. The three Mesquiteers get involved when they ride to save a girl (really a government agent) on a runaway horse.
Lullaby and his World War I buddies head west to farmstead. When the Canfield brothers try to stop them, they get help from Stony and Tucson as Livingstone and Corrigan start their long run as Mesquiteers while Saylor makes his lone appearance. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Maybe not Colt MacDonald's characters, but this is great
As an introduction to the Three Mesquiteers themselves (not that the characters stayed consistent through the series) and to the eventual series of that name, "The Three Mesquiteers" is a wonderful movie, with clever dialogue and excellent story, very well acted at all levels.
Bob Livingston and Ray Corrigan played Stony and Tucson as a good team, obviously liking each other enough to tease each other and still work smoothly together, for fighting or cowboying.
Syd Saylor was probably a better all-around actor than Max Terhune, who replaced him in the next 3M movies, but he was a different character and must be considered in that light. Actually, he probably better fit the physical description by the original author, William Colt MacDonald.
Bad guys here were exceptional, including Al Bridge, who went on to an illustrious career, especially as a favorite of Preston Sturges. He even looked enough like J.P. McGowan that they were believably brothers.
McGowan was really good as the rotten leader of the bad guys, but in his character's one moment of near-humanity, he was even better.
John Merton was the brawn heavy and excellent, as always.
Gene Marvey was very likable as the leader of the injured veterans -- an unfortunately always relevant topic -- and even had a beautiful singing voice. It is shameful that even IMDb has no information on him.
As his character's sister, Kay Hughes was lovely and also likable. Her career lasted more than ten years, but apparently she gave it up before it gave her up.
Frank Yaconelli was, as always in such parts, outstanding, and other "injured vets" were sympathetic and earned our liking and admiration.
Look for a young and early Milburn Stone, who went on to great fame as "Doc" in the decades long TV series "Gunsmoke." Even this early, he stands out.
There is really so much to like in this "The Three Mesquiteers" it's hard to know what to say and what to leave out. For example, one must mention some excellent dialogue, especially the line about the French fight for glory, the English for land, and Americans for souvenirs.
All in all, a great movie, and my only serious complaint is about the jerky quality of the print I saw at YouTube. At least it was the right movie: One listed there under this title was another 3M entirely.
Finally, one other small complaint, a directorial (what I consider an) error: When the boys leave a dance to go after the villains, they do so bare-headed. Real cowboys would have grabbed their hats maybe even before their guns.
Still, this is a wonderful film, a wonderful introduction, and a wonderful experience, starring two of my favorite cowboys.
(It's truly only parenthetical I mention having got to meet Ray Corrigan about a month before his death and even attended his funeral. I had looked forward to meeting him for a long time, and was fortunate enough to do so at a Western Film Collectors convention in July of 1976. He was a lovely and charming man, still looking handsome and strong. R.I.P.)
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