Foreign agents are smuggling monium (a chemical used in producing poison gas) into Mexico. The three Mesquiteers bet involved when they ride to save a girl (really a government agent) on a runaway horse.
Returning a lost item to Ann, Stony arrives just two men shoot each other. Ann is a Government Agent and she gets Stony to replace her now dead partner. An important chemical is being smuggled out of the country and she sends Stony to the storage facility posing as the foreign Agent. He fools the guards but the boss arrives to expose the hoax and Stony is made a prisoner. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
"Pals of the Saddle" is the first of eight Three Mesquiteer series westerns that John Wayne made for Republic's 1938-39 season. During this time, "Stagecoach" would be released, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Comparing this film to some of his earlier efforts, one can see how far Wayne had developed his on-screen presence. He appeared much more confident and more at ease. In one scene he even impersonates a grizzled and hokey prospector complete with old clothes and whiskers. As was the case in many of the Mesquiteer films, this one is set in "modern" (the late 30s) times.
In this outing he joins fellow Mesquiteers Ray "Crash" Corrigan and Max Terhune as "Stoney Brooke" in an effort to foil the evil doers plans to smuggle banned war materials out of the country to an unnamed foreign power to manufacture poison gas. At this juncture, America was still selling its neutrality in respect of the European conflict.
The film is still quite entertaining and is enhanced by Wayne's performance. I was a little disappointed not to see any of Republic's familiar roster of bad guys in the picture. The supporting cast was for me totally unrecognizable. Anyway, Stoney Brooke is a long way from "Singin" Sandy Saunders.
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