When a Ranger is killed, the Captain sends Dave Austin to investigate. Posing as an outlaw, he meets Apache Joe who he realizes was the killer. He also meets Dan Drury, the man that ... See full summary »



(original story), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Marion Weldon ...
Jean Drury
Dan Drury
Apache Joe
Martin Rand
Budd Buster ...
Hezi Watts
Steve Clark ...
Ranger Captain
Henchman Chet
Julian Madison ...
Tim Carson


When a Ranger is killed, the Captain sends Dave Austin to investigate. Posing as an outlaw, he meets Apache Joe who he realizes was the killer. He also meets Dan Drury, the man that transfers money between Apache Joe and his boss. He takes a job on Drury's ranch but is in trouble when Drury's sister Jean reveals his true identity. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

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Plot Keywords:

ranch | texas | dupe | torture | outlaw | See All (45) »




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Release Date:

6 June 1938 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

A Good Bob Steele Action Western
17 October 2005 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

One thing Bob Steele could do better than any other movie cowboy was fight. He was pint-sized but he could move fast and knock down bad guys twice as big as he was. In the showdown with Apache Joe, who did not like to be called a half-breed, Bob dukes it out in the hideout, just the two of them. When the other Rangers show up and are told to help Bob, the Captain replies to the effect, "Is it just the two of them in there? Then he don't need no help." Today Bob Steele is most remembered for his role as Lash Canino, a mobster, in Bogie's "The Big Sleep." But he was a scrapping cowboy hero to many a youngster in the 30's and 40's.

"Desert Patrol" begins with a Ranger being tortured to death by Apache Joe. Though the actual torture is not shown, there is little left to the imagination. He is sent back in pieces to Ranger headquarters. In steps Ranger Dave Austin (Bob Steele) to break up the outlaw gang involved in smuggling, but most of all to revenge his friend's death. Unfortunately one of the gang members happens to have a sister that Austin becomes struck on. So he is placed in a dilemma. He is undercover as a hired hand on the ranch of the gang member with the pretty sister. Hezi (Budd Buster), another hired hand, recognizes Austin but promises not to blow his cover. Hezi also attempts to provide the laughs in the movie. But most of his slapstick falls flat.

Marion Weldon as Austin's love interest sounds as if she is reading her lines but does pick up steam toward the end when she learns that her brother is involved in crooked dealings and that Austin is in danger. She becomes a spitfire, knocks Martin Rand, the boss outlaw, down, and takes off to save Austin. Jack Ingram whose face appears in countless shoot-'em-ups does well in a small role early in his career as one of the henchmen.

Even though the title of the film is "Desert Patrol," there is an abundance of trees and running water. Maybe this oater should have been called "Forest Patrol." All in all not a bad Saturday afternoon matinée feature, especially if you are a Bob Steele fan like me.

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