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Gunsmoke Ranch (1937)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  5 May 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 71 users  
Reviews: 10 user

Flagg is relocating flood victims to Gunsmoke Ranch. The Three Mesquiteers know Flagg to be a crook and try to warn them. They ignore the warning and improve the land only to find that it has been condemned for a new dam.



(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Livingston ...
Ray Corrigan ...
Max Terhune ...
Kenneth Harlan ...
Phineas T. Flagg
Jean Carmen ...
Marion Warren (as Julia Thayer)
Sammy McKim ...
Jimmy Warren
Ed 'Oscar' Platt ...
Oscar (as Oscar and Elmer)
Lou Fulton ...
Elmer Twiddlebaum (as Oscar and Elmer)
Burr Caruth ...
Judge Jonathan Warren
Allen Connor ...
Henchman Reggie Allen
Yakima Canutt ...
Henchman Spider
Horace B. Carpenter ...
Joe Larkin (as Horace Carpenter)
Jane Keckley ...
Mathilda Larkin
Robert Walker ...
Seth Williams (as Bob Walker)
Jack Ingram ...
Cowhand Jed


Flagg is relocating flood victims to Gunsmoke Ranch. The Three Mesquiteers know Flagg to be a crook and try to warn them. They ignore the warning and improve the land only to find that it has been condemned for a new dam.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A killer to be foiled---a fortune to be saved...excitement rules the range! (ORIGINAL PRINT AD) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Galopando para a Justiça  »

Box Office


$35,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


Judge Jonathan Warren: Let us be humbly thankful to Providence, for leading us from the turbulent waters of despair, into this land of promise.
See more »


Followed by Santa Fe Stampede (1938) See more »


When the Campfire Is Low on the Prairie
Written by Oliver Drake
Sung by Robert Livingston at the dance
See more »

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User Reviews

Routine B western mainly for fans of The Three Mesquiteers
3 March 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Republic's Three Mesquiteers series (51 in all) was popular in its day and remains one of the most memorable of them all. Based on characters created by William Colt MacDonald who in turn was inspired by the original Three Musketeers from the classic 19th century novel by Alexandre Dumas, the idea is: One for all and all for one. The cowboy trio usually consisted of a lover, a scrapper, and a jokester. Robert Livinston starred in the series from the beginning as the dashing man on the white horse Stony Brooke. He appeared in 39 of the 51 features. He was spelled for awhile by none other than John Wayne himself, before the Duke made a splash with "Stagecoach." Ray "Crash" Corrigan was Tucson Smith from the beginning of the series in 1936. He ultimately portrayed the "middle cowboy" in 24 outings. In the first of the Three Mesquiteers films, Syd Saylor played Lullaby Joslin. After only one film, Saylor was replaced by Max Terhune, who had an unusual talent for a comical sidekick. He was a ventriloquist. Elmer the dummy became somewhat of a 4th Mesquiteer, or was Terhune the dummy?...never mind. This trio stayed together for fourteen movies (1936-1938). "Gunsmoke Ranch" was their fifth oater. These Three Mesquiteers are the ones most fans remember best.

As with many Hollywood films from the days of the Great Depression, Roosevelt's New Deal is promoted. Keeping it as apolitical as possible, no mention is made of FDR or any of his programs. Flood control and with it cheap electricity was one of the main planks in Roosevelt's restructuring of the American economy. A devastating flood forces farmers to pull up steaks and head for Gunsmoke Valley, Arizona, where they can start anew on land each bought from the unscrupulous Realtor and land developer Phineas T. Flagg (even the name sounds lowdown and mean), played with verve by Kenneth Harlan. Naturally one of the farmers has a beautiful daughter, Marion (Jean Carmen). It doesn't take Stony long to start drooling and howling at the moon. Tucson and Lullaby do their best to thwart their saddle pal's efforts to win the damsel's hand. The farmers discover that the land has been condemned so the government can flood it when a dam is built. To keep the farmers from being swindled out of their land, the Three Mesquiteers take charge. There lies the rest of the movie.

There's usually plenty of action in any Republic shoot-'em-up. This one is no exception, except most of the action comes with a big shootout near the end with lots of dare devil stunts. Yakima Canutt is on hand to make sure all the tricks of the trade are utilized to make the action exciting and realistic. Canutt even plays one of the henchmen. He's the one who throws the first egg during the big street brawl.

By this time, the singing cowboy craze was taking off. A popular radio singer and recording artist named Gene Autry was beginning to change the direction of B westerns by always performing many of his songs, or introducing new ones, in his films. To roll with the flow Stony attempts to sing a ballad called "When the Campfire is Low on the Prairie." Needless to say, Gene didn't have a thing to worry about. Fans were quick to throw water on the campfire. Not until Roy Rogers (and to some extent Tex Ritter) began plying his trade did Gene have any serious rival. One song that Gene sang early in his career, "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," is used briefly in the film during the social gathering just before Stony sings. The old standard "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" is a sing-a-long near the beginning of the flick.

Lullaby and his dummy Elmer are satisfactory in the humor department but a couple of clowns billed as Oscar and Elmer are lame by today's standards and that's being kind. Elmer's character is now politically incorrect. Audiences who saw this when it was first released probably found Oscar and Elmer hilarious. Several comedians in those days used stuttering as a gimmick to get laughs. Porky Pig is a classic example of utilizing stuttering to provoke laughter. Even as late as 1992 Austin Pendleton cracked up viewers with his stuttering in "My Cousin Vinny."

There should be more action and less talk and romance in "Gunsmoke Ranch," but it's still worthwhile for B western fans. Those who enjoy the Three Mesquiteers should find this entry acceptable, though not up to par for the series.

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