After the owner of the Circle T Ranch is murdered by a ghostly serial, killer, owner Madge THorp resists offers to buy the ranch and is helped defend her property by the Range Busters.



(story and screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
'Crash' Corrigan (as Ray 'Crash' Corrigan)
'Alibi' Terhune (as Max 'Alibi' Terhune)
Elmer ...
Uncle Rolf
Doc Stengle
Bruce King ...
Carl Mathews ...
Henchman Rocky (as 'Duke' Mathews)

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In the first of the Range Buster series, a mysterious phantom is murdering the hands at the Circle T Ranch and the owner sends for the Range Busters just before he too is killed. They quickly run into trouble with Torrance and his gang. Torance is after the Circle T but Crash doesn't think he is the phantom. Instead he suspects it may be blind Uncle Rolf. When the phantom strikes next, Crash is ready and his identity is soon revealed. Written by Maurice VanAuken <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Range Busters...blasting a lawless ranch refuge...!


Western | Mystery





Release Date:

22 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Companheiros de Luta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First in a series clearly using the old Three Mequiteers format and two of its characters, See more »


When Alibi is climbing to get the bad guy, a poured concrete bridge is clearly visible, a practice that was not in use in the late 19th Century West. See more »


Carol Thorp: [offering to cook some food] Are you hungry?
'Alibi' Terhune: No, that bullet must have took away my appetite!
See more »


Followed by Saddle Mountain See more »


Get Along Little Cowboy
Written by Johnny Lange and Lew Porter
Sung by John 'Dusty' King
See more »

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User Reviews

Plumb ornery varmints!
30 January 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'Range Busters' is an absolutely typical example of the low-budget quickie grind'em-out Western. It will therefore be hugely enjoyable to those who like such things, but not to many other people.

Crash and Dusty are typical white-hat cowboy heroes. Their friend Alibi, the comedy relief, is a ventriloquist cowpoke who spends a lot of time conversing with his dummy. (As a 'vent', Max Terhune is technically more proficient than Edgar Bergen, but not nearly as funny.)

Somebody keeps shooting the ranch hands at Carol Thorp's spread. Annoyingly, everyone keeps referring to the unknown killer as a 'phantom' even though he hasn't claimed any paranormal powers. We get one of those cliché murder scenes from the viewpoint of the killer, as his victim backs away from the camera and begs for mercy. Naturally, our heroes decide to sign on at Carol's ranch.

There's some very crude expository dialogue, and some overripe wisecracks. 'What good is a job that may lead to a passport to eternity?' is one example. As the squinty villain sees the heroes riding into town, he tells his henchman: 'See that they don't hang up their hats in this town.' Carol's helpful comment is: 'The Phantom always does what is least expected.' So it should be easy to catch him, then: just figure out what's least expected, and be one jump ahead of him.

SPOILERS COMING: Carol's uncle Rolf is ostensibly blind: he wears dark glasses and uses a stick to feel his way. However, the movie plants several blatantly obvious clues that he isn't really blind. Despite this imposture, Rolf isn't the Phantom. He's just a red herring ... or maybe a smoked herring, because he's wearing smoked glasses.

It's no spoiler to say that the white hats beat the black hats. One of my least favourite clichés is the one about the two buddies and the girl: when one buddy develops an interest in a woman, the other buddy decides he has to 'save' his friend from that hideous fate. We get that ending here, except that it's two against one ... with Crash and Alibi uniting to keep Dusty away from Carol. Still, 'Range Busters' was clearly made for a juvenile audience, so I understand the decision to cut out the 'mushy stuff'.

'Range Busters' is no 'Citizen Kane' or 'Battleship Potemkin', but I strongly feel that all films should be judged by their genre and their intentions. By that standard, 'Range Busters' succeeds in most of what it meant to do, and I'll rate this movie 7 out of 10. Saddle up, pardners!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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