Jim Mallory returns from the Civil War to Texas to find his father, Colonel Mallory, leading a band of land grabbers and carpet-baggers during the Reconstruction Era. He learns of this from... See full summary »
Jim Mallory returns from the Civil War to Texas to find his father, Colonel Mallory, leading a band of land grabbers and carpet-baggers during the Reconstruction Era. He learns of this from newspaper publisher Jonathan Taylor, who advocates the overthrow of Colonel Mallory's crooked regime, and his daughter Nan. Jim and his pal, "Happy" Snodgrass save Taylor from Mallory's henchmen, led by Idaho, and they side with the Governor's representative Brent Gordon against the gang. When Jim kills one of the gang members, Captain Sneed, the Colonel's main aide, has him jailed and he is to be executed. Colonel Mallory goes to Gordon and Taylor, and they agree to take up arms to free Jim on the condition that the Colonel join their crusade against the lawlessness. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I pledge allegiance to the flag...
I pledge allegiance to the flag.
Of the United States of America...
Of the United States of America.
And to the republic for which it stands...
And to the republic for which it stands... Jim! Jim!
[in his death spasms, Colonel Mallory tears down the flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande]
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I saw "The Old Chisholm Trail" a few weeks ago and was surprised to see Johnny Mack Brown, Tex Ritter, Fuzzy Knight and Jimmy Wakely all together in one picture, but lo and behold, here's another one. So with more than a bit of curiosity, I did a little research and learned that after a couple of years as a solo star, Brown got some help from Tex Ritter for a series of seven Westerns over at Universal. Fuzzy and the Jimmy Wakely Trio were also on hand for more than a couple of pictures as well.
What caught me even more by surprise in this story was a reference Fuzzy Knight makes about being an entertainer in a medicine show. In "The Old Chisholm Trail", his character was just that - a side-show magician and ventriloquist who has a running gag with Earle Hodgins, who appears in this flick as Judge Peabody. The thing is, 'Chisholm' came a couple of pictures AFTER this one! As an aside, all the main players portrayed different characters in each of the films they appeared in for Universal.
The main story here has to do with large Texas land grant owners who defied professing allegiance to the Union following the Civil War. JMB's father (William Farnum) puts himself in charge of a huge tract called 'The Republic of the Rio Grande', and with a typical henchman crew, attempts to secede from Texas and set up his own government. The way it all plays out is just a little too pat, but hey, any B Western running over an hour was pushing it. Let's just say Jim Mallory (Brown) makes good on his promise to 'put Texas back into the Union'.
The action takes place in the appropriately named town of Freedom City, Texas, with an opening song number that has Fuzzy Knight taking a crack at the title tune. Things wind up with a rousing finale that features The Pledge of Allegiance and the strains of 'Deep in the Heart of Texas' looming in the background. In that regard, the picture is one of the more patriotic Westerns coming out of the era, with a prominent show of the American flag in more than one scene.
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