An emergency at his Aunt's ranch gets Ed Randall leave from the Navy. He returns to find the water cut off and her note due the next day. When the man he seeks legal advice from is murdered...
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An emergency at his Aunt's ranch gets Ed Randall leave from the Navy. He returns to find the water cut off and her note due the next day. When the man he seeks legal advice from is murdered, Ed is accused and he now finds himself in jail with a lynch mob forming outside. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
"Rainbow Ranch" is a modern day, B-movie western about ranchers who clash over water rights. The action occurs in less than a week when our hero clears up the chaos that a villainous rancher has concocted so as to get to two ranches from their owners. Director Henry L. Fraser keeps things simple and this B-movie oater clocks in at a trim 55 minutes with an athletic Rex Bell swapping blows with the bad guys and winning the girl after he saves the day. Fraser and character actor Phil Dunham collaborated on the screenplay with Fraser providing the story while Dunham came up with the dialogue. Everything is pretty cut and dried with either little depth or complexity to the narrative.
Ed 'Tex' Randall is a real scrapper when it comes to fighting. At the start of "Rainbow Ranch," Tex is in the U.S. Navy where he displays his boxing skills and wins a match staged on a ship. Tex is the kind of guy who has little trouble getting himself into trouble. Afterward, at a taxi dance hall, Tex lures a dancer from another man, and a fracas ensues with the Shore Patrol carting Tex off to the brig. This is about the time that Tex receives a telegram from his Aunt Martha that he must come home to fix things up. Dastardly ranch owner Marvin Black (Robert Kortman) has killed Tex's uncle Jack and he has sealed Rainbow Ranch off from its water supply. Tex's neighbors at a nearby ranch are the Burkes, and they are in trouble with Black, too. Dad (Henry Hall of "Paradise Canyon") suggests that Tex go into town and find out about the water rights.
When Tex consults with a lawyer, Wilber Hall (Phil Dunham), about the water supply problem, he learns that he has every right to the water. Black kills Wilber, and Tex slings a shot at the murderer. Predictably, when the sheriff arrives, he finds Hall dead and Texas standing over him with a smoking six-gun. The sheriff arrests Tex, and Tex's foreman rides over to an adjoining ranch to get help from Dad and Molly Burke. Molly helps Tex break out of jail, and he rides off to blow up Black's dam. Naturally, Black exploits the opportunity to help Sheriff's Deputy Earl (Earl Dwire) form a posse to pursue Tex. Meantime, the Coroner (George Morrell), who is a ballistics expert, shows the Sheriff (Gordon De Main) proof that the same bullet used to kill Tex's Uncle Jack Randall was fired from a .41 caliber revolver as was the bullet that killed Wilber Hall. The Sheriff and Molly ride out to save Tex. Tex reaches the earthen dam that prevents water from reaching his uncle's ranch. He uses dynamite to blast the dam to smithereens.
No sooner has he blown up the dam that Black's men get the jump on him. Black and his henchmen are about to take Tex back to jail when the Sheriff arrives. He explains to his Deputy as well as Black that the gun used to kill not only Jack Randall but also the lawyer was a .41 caliber. As it turns out, Black is the only person in those parts who owns a .41 caliber. Guilty as sin for both murders, Black lights out and the Sheriff slings a shot at him. Black gets away, but his horse throws him in a riding accident, and Black breaks his neck and dies.
"Rainbow Ranch" qualifies as nothing special. Nevertheless,Rex Bell proves his resourcefulness once again as a romantic hero on the range. This Monogram film was produced by Paul Malvern; Malvern produced many of John Wayne's low-budget horse operas, including "Riders of Destiny," "The Sagebrush Trail," "The Lucky Texan," and "West of the Divide." Archie Stout's black & white photography is a plus. The Alpha Video DVD is one of their better releases in terms of the clarity of the image.
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