Lambert has the stagecoach wrecked killing the Commissioner so his phony replacement can alter Coonskin's land survey. When Red Ryder exposes the survey hoax, Lambert has his stooge Sheriff put Red in jail.
"Iron Mike" Haines (Tom Chatterton), a crooked sheriff, and "Hands" Weber (Roy Barcroft), the town blacksmith, are in cahoots and have been robbing stages, silver mines, etc., and framing ... See full summary »
Jennings is after the Ryder freight lines. His gang robs their stage and then rustles the horses Red Ryder is delivering to the Army, When the Army Captain arrives he arrests Ryder for rustling his own horses.
In Elliot's initial appearance as Red Ryder, he finds himself framed for murder. Little Beaver then foils the crooked Sheriff's attempt to have Red killed excaping jail. When Hannah Rogers ... See full summary »
Spencer Gordon Bennet
George 'Gabby' Hayes,
One of two towns will be selected to be the County Seat and Editor Palmer has a gang working to make sure his town is chosen. Investigating the lawlessness, Red Ryder poses as an outlaw to ... See full summary »
George 'Gabby' Hayes,
Two men are partners of the town bank. When one learns the other has cashed in bonds and replaced them with forgeries, he is murdered. The murdered Banker's adopted daughter takes his place... See full summary »
Redwood Valley residents raise $50,000 for blasting a mountain tunnel to bring a new railroad there. Town leader Bidwell (James Craven) engineers a plot to steal the money and to blame it ... See full summary »
Red Ryder (Bill Elliott as Wild Bill Elliott) chases and catches a bank robber, but the robber's boss, Denver Jack (Roy Barcroft) has him released by a crooked lawyer, Larry Randall (Robert... See full summary »
A geologist has found oil on the neighboring ranches and teams up with Ace who has his gang create a reign of terror to get the ranchers to sell out. But to get rid of Red Ryder, Ace sends for the San Antonio Kid. Arriving, the Kid has a freak accident and Red comes along to save his life. When the Kid later meets with Ace he learns that Red is the man he has been paid to kill. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
I'd never seen a Red Ryder western before today, although I'd read and heard about them. Based on what I've seen so far, I am not impressed.
I realize that this series was made for kids, and I've taken that into account, but it was still incredibly juvenile; I can imagine kids sitting in a theater in 1944 watching this and saying "Oh, come on, get real". The script, even for a kid's western, is puerile and sloppy, although Bill Elliott does a pretty good job of trying to make the juvenile dialog he has to recite seem not so juvenile. Elliott definitely has a screen presence and did first-rate work in a string of westerns for Republic and, later, Allied Artists, but he's not shown to his best advantage here. Linda Stirling is quite attractive and athletic--as she showed in "The Tiger Woman" serial for Republic, which came out the same year as this film--and does the best she can with what she's given. The action is, of course, fast and furious, as you would expect from Republic, and the supporting cast is full of great western players--Leroy Mason, Glenn Strange, Robert Wilke, Tom London, among others--but what really ruined this for me were Earle Hodgins as Happy Jack and Robert Blake as Little Beaver. I like both of them as actors, but Blake was definitely not even remotely convincing as an Indian kid. His performance was so grating and annoying that I found myself closing my eyes and shaking my head whenever he came on. Hodgins specialized in fast-talking medicine-show hustlers, carnival barkers, two-faced small-town politicians, etc., and he was great at that, but playing the confused and confusing sidekick Happy Jack and seeing him getting constantly bested by Blake's bratty little Indian kid was depressing, to say the least,
All in all, I'd have to say that if this is a good example of Elliott's Red Ryder series, then I don't particularly want to see the rest of them. I'll give him a couple of more chances, though. We'll see what happens.
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