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Trigger Fingers (1939)

 -  Western  -  1 November 1939 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 14 users  
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Marshal and his men disguise themselves as gypsies to catch a gang of cattle thieves.

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(original story and screenplay)
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Title: Trigger Fingers (1939)

Trigger Fingers (1939) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tim McCoy ...
Ben Corbett ...
Magpie
Harley Wood ...
Jessie Bolton (as Jill Martin)
Joyce Bryant ...
Margaret
Carleton Young ...
Bert Lee, Gang Leader
Ted Adams ...
Henchman Jeff Thurston
John Elliott ...
Jim Bolton (as John Elliot)
Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart ...
Deputy Jerry Walsh (as Bud McTaggart)
Ralph Peters ...
Henchman Mort Hodges
Forrest Taylor ...
Crane, Cowhand-Henchman
Kenne Duncan ...
Henchman Johnson (as Ken Duncan)
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Storyline

Recovering a saddle with fingerprints from the Lasson County gang, Bill, Magpie, and Margaret arrive posing as Gypsies. Bill tells fortunes using cards and later checks them for fingerprints. Not finding any matches they arrive at the gang's hideout. But gang leader Lee soon realizes what's happening and they are in trouble. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

1 November 1939 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Lightning Bill poses as a gypsy!
14 April 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the late 1930s, Tim McCoy made a series of eight 'Lightning Bill Carson' films. Carson was a federal agent who usually went under cover to investigate crimes. In some, he posed as a Mexican bandit (and actually did a very good job with these roles), in one he posed as a Chinese guy (this was NOT a great performance--as ANY Westerner playing an Asian is pretty sad to watch) and here in "Trigger Fingers" he goes under cover as a Gypsy! It's the last of the Lightning Bill films and all but the first film in the series appear to be available on DVD or are in the public domain (so they can be downloaded for free from links on IMDb).

The film begins with Lightning Bill investigating the actions of the Lasson County Gang. He thinks they are rustling cattle after he finds one of their saddles with fingerprints on it but needs to go under cover to prove it. Now I know fingerprints were NOT something used in the old west (they came into widespread use after 1900), but like all the Lightning Bill films, it's set in a weird anachronistic world--with some old and some modern in the same movie. For example, while they usually ride horses, sometimes they ride in cars--an odd notion that also happened in many Gene Autry and Roy Rogers films. In a twist, not only Bill but his friend Magpie and lady friend Margaret all pose as Gypsies. Now despite Margaret being in the last Lighting Bill movie, she is a different actress and she isn't exactly the same character. This sort of inconsistency isn't unusual for B-westerns, as continuity was never was a strong point in the films.

While this case is pretty entertaining, it soon becomes obvious that McCoy's 'Gypsy' is actually very much the same Mexican character he is in other films--minus the bandit part of the personality. Instead, he travels telling fortunes--while actually using this as a ruse to get fingerprints on the cards to compare to the one on the saddle found at the beginning of the film. But, when the boss-man of the baddies realizes who the three are, he tries to set them up to be killed by a posse of angry ranchers.

This is the last and and among the weakest of the Lighning Bill movies. The one where he was Chinese was worse and the very first film does not appear to be available but the other five are clearly better than "Trigger Fingers". Watchable but just not up to the standards of the average film in the series.

Ambush scene with Model T Ford is lifted directly from "Lightning Bill Carson Rides Again" (1938).


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