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John King departs and Ray Corrigan returns.

Author: Leslie Howard Adams ( from Texas
23 November 2005

This was the 21st (of 24 films) in Monogram's "Range Buster" series. The trio in the first 16 films was Ray Corrigan, John King and Max Terhune. Corrigan left the series following 1942's ARIZONA STAGECOACH and the Range Buster trio in the next four releases ---TEXAS TO BATAAN-TRAIL RIDERS-TWO FISTED JUSTICE & HAUNTED RANCH(from October 1942 through February 1943)---were John King, David Sharpe and Max Terhune. These four films were directed (and supervised) by Robert Tansey.

King and Sharpe (who was drafted into the military) left the series, following HAUNTED RANCH, and Ray Corrigan then returned as the head Buster and Dennis Moore joined the series and Terhune remained. George W. Weeks produced all 24 films, Max Terhune (and his dummy Elmer)appeared in all 24 and S. Roy Luby aka Roy Claire edited all 24. Luby was the credited director on nineteen of the films, Robert Tansey on four and the last entry - BULLETS AND SADDLES - was credited to a "one-time-only director's credit anywhere" Anthony Marshall. Logic says this was also a Luby-directed film but the explanation for the use of a non de plume here has never been explained, and there has been no shortage of western-film historians who have been unable to determine who Anthony Marshall really was...or was not.

This one finds the Range Busters, "Crash" Corrigan (Ray Corrigan), Denny Moore (Dennis Moore) and "Alibi" Terhune (Max Terhune), hanging out in a shack preparatory to entering a town to clean up a gang of mail robbers.

Denny happens upon a robbery, tries to stop it and is wounded when he is chased by the supposed vigilantes who are in reality members of the gang. They trail him to the shack, but "Crash" and "Alibi" conceal him. They send their cook, "Snowflake" (Fred Toones)to town (for groceries?)and "Crash" and "Alibi" also go there to see Sheriff Wallace (Steve Clark.)While there, they drop in at the saloon ran by "Faro" Wilson (Charles King)and win so much money that "Faro"---Charley King was not a good loser...ever---picks a fight to recover his money. "Crash" and "Alibi" escape, and "Snowflake" retrieves the money and also hangs around long enough to overhear that "Faro" plans to rob the mail coach again and that Pelham (John Merton), respected citizen and mine manager, is the secret man behind the gang robbing his own payrolls.

While "Snowflake" has been busy buying grub, taking care of their gambling money and finding out who is the "brains heavy", "Crash" , Denny and "Alibi"---and "Elmer"--- are hanging out over at Rancher Oliver's house, and "Crash" and "Denny" are making a heavy play at trying to score with his daughter, Dorrie (Phyllis Adair.)This bit is standard in all of the Range Buster movies and all action grinds to a halt while "Crash" and Dusty" or "Dusty" and "Davy" or "Crash and Dennie" compete for the hand and attention of the leading lady, while "Alibi" talks to himself (via "Elmer" the dummy) and makes some comments along the here-we-go-again trail.

This goes on for a while and then all hands saddle up and ride to prevent the stagecoach hold-up. The last four films move a little faster and are shorter because John King is not in them to sing a couple of songs along the way, and Corrigan and Moore couldn't sing.

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