4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
One of the last of The Three Mesquiteers series and a good one
krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas
18 October 2005
One of the most popular cowboy series of them all was Republic's Three
Mesquiteers. Even the Duke himself was a Mesquiteer at one time. There
were 51 films with various combinations of cowboy stars making up the
trio. Based on a series of books by William Colt MacDonald which in
turn were inspired by Alexander Dumas' "Three Musketeers," in its last
incarnation the trio consisted of Tom Tyler as Stony Brooke, the tall
handsome man on a white horse who sometimes provided the love interest,
but in "Thundering Trails" his brother Johnny Brooke (John James) does
the romancing, Bob Steele as Tucson Smith, a role he had played in
other Three Mesquiteers combinations, was the pint-sized whirlwind who
could fight like no other cowboy, and Jimmie Dodd as Lullaby Joslin,
the comic of the three. And in "Thundering Trails" he does actually
deliver some chuckles. Today Bob Steele is most remembered as Lash
Canino, a mobster, in Bogie's "The Big Sleep" and as Trooper Duffy on F
TROOP. Dodd is best remembered today as one of the hosts of The Mickey
Mouse Club. Tyler's career was limited because of health problems but
some might remember seeing him as The Phantom.
"Thundering Trails" has a script that is somewhat complicated for
youngsters but fun for grown-ups. It seems that the Texas Rangers are
being disbanded following the Civil War and in their place each county
in Texas is to provide for its own defense against outlaws. The Three
Mesquiteers are Rangers who are determined to restore that illustrious
peacekeeping force to its former status. Stony's brother has other
ideas. He pitches in with a group of county lawmen who charge for
protection. It turns out that these lawmen are led by a corrupt judge
who is determined to make a small fortune through this extortion. The
Three Mesquiteers are framed when a prominent rancher is murdered.
Stony's brother is in love with the rancher's daughter and is
determined to bring the killers to justice. There is plenty of action
and twists and turns along the way to make for an entertaining outing
for the Three Mesquiteers. As with the original Three Musketeers, it's
one for all and all for one. There is one scene where Lullaby does a
song in black face so he won't be recognized that may be offensive to
some viewers today. It was still an acceptable form of entertainment
when "Thundering Trails" was produced.
The scene stealer in "Thundering Trails" is a crow named Eight Ball.
There is a very funny part in the jail house when Eight Ball, who
belongs to the jailer, assists in breaking the Three Mesquiteers out.
Lullaby bribes him with half a sandwich. The last line in the movie
also belongs to Eight Ball and it's a killer. I'm surprised that Eight
Ball didn't get his own series.
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