Texas Ranger Jack Steele is assigned to bring in former ranch owner Judith Alvarez, now the leader of a gang who is waging war against the crooked government officials who cheated the ...
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Texas Ranger Jack Steele is assigned to bring in former ranch owner Judith Alvarez, now the leader of a gang who is waging war against the crooked government officials who cheated the ranchers out of their land. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Renegade Ranger is the only western in which both George O'Brien and Tim Holt appeared, even though O'Brien went on to star in over a dozen more after this one. Tim Holt took over the reigns of popular B movie western hero in 1940 with his first two starring westerns, Wagon Train and The Fargo Kid (filmed simultaneously) - the same year O'Brien made his last starring B movie western, Triple Justice. See more »
Too bad that George O'Brien is largely forgotten among front row kids. He may not have the charisma nor singing voice of a Rogers or LaRue, but his burly physique is perfect for action roles. Here it's really Holt who has the eye-catching charisma. No wonder he was soon featured in his own series. Of course, the chief attraction is Rita Hayworth before her career took off. She's certainly a striking presence, but for curiosity seekers like myself, it's hard to tell with that hat on whether this was before or after her hairline was raised. It certainly made a difference in appearance. Check out Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935) for a revealing glimpse.
The programmer itself has a couple of good plot twists a tricky ex-Ranger Holt with a wobbly moral compass, and a misled Ranger O'Brien who chases after the wrong gang. The plot's also driven by a conflict between Latinos whose land ownership derives from Spanish land grants and a ruthless frontier land-grabber who wants to scheme the land away from them. Conflict over Spanish land authority is an interesting historical twist I never really thought about. On the other hand, I've got to agree with another reviewer who finds the action scenes foreshortened and not very exciting. Anyway, it's the thoughtful storyline, along with Holt and Hayworth that make this oater worth sticking around for.
A "6" on the matinée scale
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