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 ... See full summary »
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>
A four-minute-long scene near the end of The Renegade Ranger is an exact copy - line for line and shot for shot - of a scene in Tim Holt's 1942 movie, Come On Danger. It begins with the hero and two sidekicks listening outside a window as the villain discusses murdering the heroine, followed by a fight in which the villains' cook comes out of the kitchen and disrupts the fight by cutting the rope which holds up a suspended wagon-wheel chandelier. In Come on Danger the hero is Tim Holt and his sidekicks are Ray Whitley and Lee White. In The Renegade Ranger the hero is George O'Brien and his sidekicks are Ray Whitley (again) - and none other than Tim Holt. In both versions, Tim Holt pretends to be injured and staggers passed two guards, then he falls over while his two companions jump the distracted guards. See more »
RKO's B Westerns were always strong in the acting and script department. And "The Renegade Ranger" is no exception. Long-time cowboy star George O'Brien is solid as always. But it's relative newcomers Tim Holt and Rita Hayworth that really shine. Holt seethes with talent and emotion. And Hayworth just seethes.
You can tell both are headed for great things. Holt would become RKO's top B Western star with occasional forays into A pictures such as "Magnificent Ambersons" and "Treasure of the Sierra Madre". And Hayworth would become a superstar.
The writing is equally solid. Frequent B scribe Oliver Drake gives a sympathetic portrayal of Mexican outlaws in Texas. Proving once again that B Westerns aren't as politically retrograde as many think.
Yup, all this is good. But RKO B Westerns also have downside. The action isn't that well-staged. And there's never enough of it. This film is no exception there either. Promised fights are over too quick. Promised showdowns look confused and unfocused. And without good action, a Western can really drag. And this one does.
Still "The Renegade Ranger" is worth a watch for the intriguing plot, reliable O'Brien and especially the nascent talents of Holt and Hayworth.
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