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The Blocked Trail (1943)

 -  Western  -  12 March 1943 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 55 users  
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Everyone is looking for a three foot high horse called Brilliant that can lead them to a gold mine. It's owner has been killed and the Three Mesquiteers have been mistakenly arrested for the murder.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Blocked Trail (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Tom Tyler ...
Jimmie Dodd ...
Helen Deverell ...
Ann Martin
George J. Lewis ...
Freddy (as George Lewis)
Walter Soderling ...
Martin
Charles Miller ...
Frank Nolan (as Charkes F. Miller)
Kermit Maynard ...
Henchman Reese
Pierce Lyden ...
Henchman Rankin
Carl Mathews ...
Henchman Lon
Hal Price ...
Sheriff Pillsbury
Budd Buster ...
Deputy Bets McGee
Brilliant ...
Brilliant - Martin's horse (as Brilliant The Horse)
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Storyline

Everyone is looking for a three foot high horse called Brilliant that can lead them to a gold mine. It's owner has been killed and the Three Mesquiteers have been mistakenly arrested for the murder.

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Taglines:

PACKED WITH THRILLS...LOADED WITH ACTION!,,,as the Mesquiteers tackle their most dangerous range job! See more »

Genres:

Western

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Release Date:

12 March 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blocked Trail  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Santa Fe Scouts (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One for all and all for one
19 March 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Republic Studios made fifty one shoot-'em-ups based on characters created by novelist William Colt MacDonald who based his on characters by Alexandre Dumas). The Three Mesquiteers were dedicated to the proposition "One for all and all for one." Republic made several mix and match outings of the indomitable trio of cowboys. The one most remembered consisted of Bob Livingston (as Stony Brooke), Ray Corrigan (as Tucson Smith), Max Terhune (as Lullaby Joslin). At one time even the Duke himself was a Mesquiteer. The trio for "Blocked Trail" was the final lineup and it was a good one: Bob Steele (as Tucson Smith), Tom Tyler (as Stony Brooke), and Jimmie Dodd (as Lullaby Joslin). The trio consisted of a dashing tall man on a white horse who at times provided the romance, a gunslinger, and a comic.

Bob Steele was not only a fine actor but a feisty pint-sized fighter, known for his speed and agility. Tom Tyler made his presence known both by appearance and by his deep commanding voice. Jimmie Dodd was actually funny; plus he was a man of many talents. One wonders why Republic didn't capitalize on his musical ability. Dodd was a renowned songwriter (he wrote the official song for the District of Columbia), guitar player, and singer. Disney later chose him to lead "The Mickey Mouse Club."

"Blocked Trail" was one of the last of the Three Mesquiteers films. The title is a good one, though still somewhat generic. That there is a lot of humor in this picture doesn't lessen the action. Republic made sure of that. The chases in particular are well done with plenty of excitement and dare-devil stunt work.

The story centers around a little horse named Brilliant. When Lullaby is informed about the horse's three feet (meaning height), he replies, "How does it get around? On crutches?" The owner, a blind hermit,'Mad' Martin, is murdered for his gold. No one knows where his gold mine is, not even his daughter, except the little horse. So everyone, the good guys and the bad guys, seeks to capture Brilliant. Needless to say, many times the "seeing-eye" horse makes jackasses out of those trying to corral it and often steals the show. The viewer doesn't get a good look at the killer, though he's not that hard to figure out as the story progresses.

Of note in the comedy department is the inclusion of a fake Indian, Chief Plenty Harvest, played by the ultimate con artist Earle Hodgins. Like so many character actors, viewers will recognize his face (even disguised as an Indian) though possibly not his name. Hodgins was the first to popularize the expression, "Go away, son, you bother me." Usually he's not all that funny by today's standards, more obnoxious than humorous, but in "Blocked Trail," especially toward the end when he often slips into speaking plain English instead of a phony Indian lingo, he is hilarious.

Helen Deverell who plays the part of Mad Martin's daughter comes across as a rough and tumble cowgirl who is always being rescued by the Three Mesquiteers but not without protest. One wonders why no romantic relationship was written in for her and Stony. She had a very brief movie career. In "Blocked Trail," she shows a lot of potential.

Though not up to par with some other Three Mesquiteers oaters, this one still works for the fans and the humor works most of the time too.


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