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Mamie Van Doren
1863. Texas Ranger Todd Croyden and Union spy Whitney Randolph cross into Mexico to investigate a growing struggle for power between the French-supported Maximilian and the native-born Benito Juarez. In Mexico they meet General Liguras, who is loyal to Juarez, and the beautiful Madeline -- daughter of or wife to the powerful and manipulative Basil Danzeeger. Croyden falls for Madeline but soon runs afoul of Danzeeger who condemns him to be pulled apart between two horses. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
Americans love to make films about the Juarez and Maximilian conflict and a big reason is that we were on the popular side then against foreign imperialism. In this case that of the French who were putting an Austrian emperor on a newly created throne of Mexico which would have become a client state. In this case both the Union and Confederacy see the danger of Emperor Maximilian.
So in a move arranged by Governor Francis Lubbock of Texas played by Grandon Rhodes, Union Army spy Dennis O'Keefe and Texas Ranger John Payne are on a joint mission to talk to a would be Pancho Villa played by Thomas Gomez who is being suckered by Fred Clark who is an agent of Maximilian from attacking Texas. Gomez is dreaming big dreams of reconquering it for Mexico, but he doesn't know he's being played for a sucker and that neither the USA or the CSA is going to stand for that.
Payne indulges in a little romance with Rhonda Fleming who is unhappily married to Clark. And Clark who possessed one of the best slow burns this side of Edgar Kennedy and usually is a comic villain plays it straight and serious here.
Payne and O'Keefe later teamed for another western for Paramount B unit producers Pine-Thomas called Passage West are much better in a much better western with The Eagle And The Hawk.
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