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Water Rustlers (1939)

Shirley Martin finds that Weylan has diverted the water from the valley and her cattle are dying. First she and her foreman Bob Lawson go to court. This fails when Weylan's men keep the ... See full summary »



(original story), (original story) | 1 more credit »

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Stars: Harry Carey, Elinor Fair, George 'Gabby' Hayes


Complete credited cast:
Shirley Martin
Bob Lawson (as David O'Brien)
Mike - the cook
Robert Weylan
Ethan Allen ...
Tim Martin
Leonard Trainor ...
Andy Jurgens
Warner Richmond ...
Wiley (as Warner Richman)
Edward Gordon ...
Henchman Kerman (as Edward R. Gordon)
Weylan's Lawyer (as Edward Peil)
Merrill McCormick ...


Shirley Martin finds that Weylan has diverted the water from the valley and her cattle are dying. First she and her foreman Bob Lawson go to court. This fails when Weylan's men keep the ranchers from testifying. But Shirley has a second plan to return water to the valley. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

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THE SINGING COW GIRL! You'll love Her for her beauty..and Her Courage! Laughing at Danger with a Song on her Lips! (original poster) See more »


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Release Date:

6 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To fragma tou thanatou  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film took place in New York City Monday 21 June 1948 on WATV (Channel 13) and in Los Angeles Wednesday 12 July 1950 on KTSL (Channel 2). See more »


I Feel at Home in the Saddle
Written by Al Sherman, Walter Kent and Milton Drake
Sung by Dorothy Page (uncredited)
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User Reviews

"You wanted a fight, you've got one, and we've just begun."
7 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well all the cowboy greats found themselves in the middle of a water rights feud at one time or another - Autry, Rogers, Ritter, Starrett, and... Dorothy Page?!?! Until today I'd never heard of her, so it was doubly surprising to see that she had top billing in this story over Dave O'Brien. Not exactly a household name himself, but he did have over two hundred screen appearances to his credit, while Miss Page only made a half dozen films. Hired on by Grand National Pictures as a singing cowgirl, the concept never quite made it with matinée fans, but give the girl credit. She sounded pretty good here with a trio of tunes sprinkled throughout the picture.

The story is fairly standard otherwise, as Silver Creek Mining Enterprises owner Weylan (Stanley Price) dams off a section of river denying water to the local ranchers and cattlemen. Taking the high road, Shirley Martin (Page) and her neighbors take Weylan to court, but when a number of them are intimidated against testifying, the remaining ranchers decide to take matters into their own hands. With Miss Martin and foreman Lawson (O'Brien) in the lead, the locals set dynamite charges near the base of the dam, and during a shootout between the opposing sides, they use the old 'fall on the dynamite plunger' trick to set off the blast that brings water back to Silver Creek.

What's interesting about the picture is that the standard heroics that usually go to the male cowboy hero are performed by Miss Page, the riding and roping, and as part of the finale, saving Lawson from drowning by throwing him a lasso and hauling him in. Quite honestly, O'Brien's character didn't have that much to do in the picture, although he did acquit himself well in your standard brawl against a couple of the baddies at one point. By the time the picture's over, you don't get the idea so much that Lawson won over his sweetheart, but that it happened the other way around.

Seeing as how the tables were turned in this Western with the leading man a lady, another one you might try is 1948's "The Hawk of Powder River". In that one, Jennifer Holt is the leader of an outlaw gang and gets to mix it up with Eddie Dean and Roscoe Ates. It's a bit of an over the top role for Holt, who enjoyed it so much it wound up being her favorite picture.

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