West of Dodge City (1947)
Passed - Western
Most of the cast and half of the footage of this one turns up (uncredited) in 1951's "Bonanza Town" marking the only instance of a villain in one Durango Kid film returning in another. It wasn't that Henry Hardison (Fred Sears) was that much of a worthy character as it was Columbia could penny-pinch a second film at half the cost. Story is set in the post-Civil War period with crooks flocking to prey on the small towns of the southwest, with Hardison and his henchmen the worst of the lot. His plan is to fleece the ranchers of River Bend out of their property with the promise to build a dam to provide water for their land. All of the settlers are in line except John Avery (Nolan Willis) and his daughter Anne (Nancy Saunders.) Avery sends for Steve Ramsey (Charles Starrett), an engineer and surveyor who, unknown to Avery, is also the Durango Kid. Steve quickly sees that the land is not suitable for a dam project, and that Hardison has some other reason in mind. Steve enlists the aid(?) of the town newspaper editor Smiley (Smiley Burnette), and open war soon breaks out.