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Vigilantes of Dodge City (1944)

Approved | | Western | 15 November 1944 (USA)
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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Anthony Coldewey) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Red Ryder (as 'Wild' Bill Elliot)
...
Little Beaver (as Bobby Blake)
Alice Fleming ...
...
Carol Franklin
LeRoy Mason ...
Luther Jennings
Hal Taliaferro ...
Walter Bishop
Tom London ...
Denver
Steve Barclay ...
Captain James Glover (as Stephen Barclay)
...
Benteen
...
Dave Brewster
...
Bill (as Bob Wilke)
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Storyline

Red Ryder (Bill Elliott) and Little Beaver (Robert Blake) arrive on the scene too late to prevent the hold-up of the freight coach and the theft of a big bank shipment. Red's Aunt, the Duchess (Alice Fleming), operates the freight line and is unaware that banker Luther Jennings (LeRoy Mason) wants to scare her into selling him the freight line at a low figure. Jennings has Red's herd of horses stampeded, and makes it appear that Red staged a fake stampede in order to defraud the government. Captain Glover (Steve Barclay (I)') arrests Red, who maintains his innocence and persuades General Wingate (Stanley Andrews) to allow him to go after the real crook. Little Beaver accidentally finds the gang's cave-hideout and Red and Captain Glover find evidence proving Red's innocence and incriminating Jennings. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IF IT'S WESTERN THRILLS YOU CRAVE...RIDE ON DOWN TO DODGE CITY WITH "RED"...(original poster - all caps)

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

15 November 1944 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Stock shot from "Zorro's Fighting Legion" (1939): opening shot of "Army" Post shows sentries and riders in Mexican uniforms with the Mexican flag over the post. See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I know what happens when you're in a peaceable mood."
12 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One thing about these old "B" Westerns - the title often had nothing to do with the actual story. Case in point, "Vigilantes of Dodge City" was not a story about vigilantes as one commonly envisions when hearing the term.

This film is one of a number of Red Ryder Westerns, the series of films that starred either Allan "Rocky" Lane or Wild Bill Elliott as the title character. The supporting cast generally included Alice Fleming as the Duchess, Red Ryder's aunt who raised him, and trusted young Indian friend Little Beaver. Beaver was portrayed by present day accused wife killer Robert "Baretta" Blake, then credited as Bobby Blake, and sporting a remarkable resemblance to the grown actor.

Bill Elliott does the honors as Red Ryder here, and besides helping out with the Dutchess' Ryder Freight Lines, he raises horses for the Army. Crooked banker Luther Jennings (LeRoy Mason) and cohort Bishop (Wally Wales/Hal Talafiero) scheme to set up Red with not only robbing the Ryder Freight Lines, but also of defrauding the government by rustling his own horses. Little Beaver plays a key role in this story, when he discovers a hidden cave that serves as headquarters for Jennings and his henchmen.

As a fan of these old Westerns, I find it interesting how different cowboy stars handled their six-shooters. Bill Elliott, in the heat of a good showdown, seems to "throw" his gun in the direction of his target as he fires, as if adding emphasis to his action.

If you enjoy this film, try some more Elliott Red Ryders, well over a dozen in all, including Sun Valley Cyclone and Sheriff of Redwood Valley. For a different yet similar take on the Ryder character, try Rocky Lane's Rustlers of Devil's Canyon or Marshal of Cripple Creek. All are from the mid 1940's, with the Elliott films preceding the Lane versions. For fans of the early Republic Serials, one of the better ones is The Adventures of Red Ryder from 1940, starring Don "Red" Barry as the title character. Have fun!


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