The Liberal Kansas area is in trouble. The town is without a Marshal and the nearby farmers are unable to grow crops due to the summer drought and trail riders that run cattle over their land. Bat Masterson arrives to bring law and order and his Deputy accidently finds a variety of wheat that will withstand the drought. But the farmers are giving up and leaving and Bat must convince tham to stay. He wants them to continue farming and also help round up the local gang of outlaws. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-1950, incorrectly omits sixth credited Steve Brodie as Logan Maury, and mixes up the roles played by Billy House, Virginia Sale and Harry Woods. They are correct as listed above. (After being advised of the error, the American Film Institute added Steve Brodie to the cast list and now has the correct list in its Catalog.) See more »
Although the official credits and publicity for the movie state Masterson's middle name as Bartley, it was actually Barclay. Randolph Scott introduces himself correctly as William Barclay Masterson to Billy House's Carmody character when he initially enters town. See more »
[to the men Masterson has locked up in jail]
You fellers ain't gonna be lonesome in there very long. Before Bat Masterson gets through with this town, this jail will be more populous than a hound dog with the fleas.
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"The Only Pebble on the Beach"
Lyrics by Harry Braisted
Music by Stanley Carter
Sung in saloon
Based on poem by Braisted See more »
This is a fairly good B western that is upgraded almost to A by the presence of Randy Scott, Robert Ryan, and Anne Jeffreys, unusual in that it concentrates on developing new farming methods to make Kansas the breadbasket of America rather than the usual open range issue in the wars between cattlemen and nesters, although that too is touched on. Gabby Hayes was noted for his tall tales. He even had an early television show centered on that talent. Many times his tall tales were lame but this go around the stories are actually humorous. Helping out in this department is the emphasis on a supposedly mythical character Brandyhead Jones. This running joke has a good finale making it even more intriguing. Character actor Harry Harvey as the mayor is a good foil for Gabby.
Randy Scott plays the historical Bat Masterson with emphasis on Bat's hidden talents as a writer. The real Bat Masterson ended his life as sports editor for the Morning Telegraph in New York City. Bat was also good with the six-shooter and was a lawman from time to time. Apart from this the rest of "Trail Street" is mainly fiction based loosely on fact here and there.
Unlike the average B western, the title of this film relates directly to the story being told. Trail Street is the main street of Liberal, Kansas, the end of the trail for drovers who herd the cattle to the stockyards for shipment to Chicago. The farmers are threatening to turn Trail Street into Wheat Street. Maury (Steve Brodie) and his toady Carmody (Billy House) the saloon operators are determined to get the land for themselves and keep the new farming methods and new strain of wheat out of the hands of the farmers. House makes an excellent sycophant. Madge Meredith delivers the goods as well as the soiled dove with the heart of gold who also has a filial relationship with Allen (Robert Ryan), the local financier who tries to help the farmers. Meredith had a rather brief screen career. Too bad for she was a skilled actress if this movie is any indication of her abilities.
A bit confusing is having two heroes rather than one. Bat and Allen work as a team. Both are pals to Billy (Gabby Hayes) which almost makes this into a Three Mesquiteers outing. Fans of Randolph Scott and Gabby Hayes should enjoy this oater. Others may get bored in places, though there is a good shoot out at the end which reminds the viewer of the later John Wayne saga Rio Bravo.
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