|Index||4 reviews in total|
Crash Corrigan and his compadres help rid a town of a gang of
cut-throats terrorizing the citizenry of the local community. This
Range Busters film features a little bit of everything (action, comedy
and suspense) in a standard western programmer.
Corrigan had a long career in film, mostly in "B" films. His best work was in the 3 Mesquiteer series, but he does a good job in this routine oater. Terhune was decent comedian, but his ventriliquist dummy often seems out of place in his western films.
This film was fine when viewed in context, but does not leave the viewer with any lasting film memories. An average time-passer .........
The Range Busters - Ray "Crash" Corrigan, John "Dusty" King, and Max
"Alibi" Terhune come to the aid of some friends who find their ranch
surrounded by highway-robbers. Before their arrival, their friend
discovers his partner with stolen loot and shoots it out before being
framed for the hold-ups by villains Charles King and Kermit Maynard.
An enjoyable, straight-foreword entry in Monogram Pictures' Range Busters series, the successor to Republic's Three Mesquiteers, this has some good action scenes and an atmospheric (though probably canned) music score.
Both corny and creepy are several scenes where Terhune's ventriloquist dummy "Elmer" talks and moves independently! I know these Saturday matinée B-westerns were made for a primarily juvenile audience, but this is just too silly!
In the final scene when Terhune picks up Elmer, who just finished moving without him, a hand can be briefly glimpsed pulling out of the dummy and disappearing under the chair!
Average Range Busters fare with the usual action scenes (chases, shoot
outs etc.) interspersed by songs from Dusty King - one of which he
warbles while suspended upside down from a tree - and comic interludes
featuring Max Terhune and his dummy, Elmer.
Incidentally, this is one of those entries in which Elmer moves and talks when Terhune is nowhere to be seen. Some critics have suggested that this sort of thing is silly and implausible but, is not the whole B western world a fantastic and mythical universe bearing no resemblance to reality? Anyway, I'm an Elmer fan so, in the words of the little wooden man himself "what's it to yuh?"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Range Busters were clearly a lower budget version of Monogram's
Three Mesquiteers series, hard to imagine for a 'B' Western unless
you've seen a few hundred of these and could actually tell the
difference. Twenty four Range Busters films were made, the first
sixteen featuring two of the original Mesquiteers, Ray 'Crash' Corrigan
and Max 'Alibi' Terhune. Joining them was John 'Dusty' King, and what I
find interesting is that the trio was allowed to use their own names as
characters in the pictures. I don't recall seeing one of these before,
and interestingly, "Arizona Stagecoach" was the sixteenth and final
picture of the series that the original principals appeared in.
The plot for this one is fairly standard, a corrupt Wells Fargo Station Agent (Charles King) is behind a string of stagecoach robberies as the Range Busters are called in to investigate. Agent Douglas (King) sets up local rancher Ernie Willard (Roy Harris) to take the fall for the robberies, but the Busters are onto him like white on rice. Following your usual gunfights and horse chases, the Range Busters bring the baddies to justice.
As an aside, this was the third 'B' Western in a row I've watched in which Charles King appeared. In the other two, "Feud of the Range" and "Forbidden Trails", King was easily recognized as the disheveled overweight henchman who reported directly to the film's main villain. Here, he IS the main villain, and in contrast, sports an uncharacteristic suit and tie while masterminding the hold-ups.
Oh yeah, there's another familiar face on hand if you're a Mesquiteers fan. Max Terhune has his dummy sidekick Elmer along for the ride. You'll be scratching your head though, as Elmer appears most of the time talking and moving around without benefit of Terhune at the controls; in fact no one at the controls. Don't know how that makes any sense, but matinée fans of these oaters didn't require much for entertainment. Come to think of it, there are times when neither do I.
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