Dad Brooks is in financial trouble and needs to sell a lot of horses. But they are being rustled and needing help, he sends for Tom. Tom looks for the rustlers but eventually realizes that s... Read allDad Brooks is in financial trouble and needs to sell a lot of horses. But they are being rustled and needing help, he sends for Tom. Tom looks for the rustlers but eventually realizes that someone is using a wild horse to do the rustling. He finds the secret entrance used by the ... Read allDad Brooks is in financial trouble and needs to sell a lot of horses. But they are being rustled and needing help, he sends for Tom. Tom looks for the rustlers but eventually realizes that someone is using a wild horse to do the rustling. He finds the secret entrance used by the rustlers to hide the horses but soon finds himself a prisoner.
But the film itself is just another version of 1930's "Phantom of the Desert", produced by Harry S. Webb and written by Bennett Cohen; the one where a foreman of the ranch (and his henchies) are rustling the horse stock from a ranch by using a wild stallion to entice the mares to follow him, plus what ever other stallions,possibly sexually confused, on the ranch that wanted to follow along. But this one, aside from the basic plot, differs somewhat as the ranch owner, since he can't keep his hosses, male or female, at home after they've seen Starlight (the wild stallion), decides to open a dude ranch. Webb and Ray remade the original story twice more in their Reliable Days, and Webb used it twice more in 1940 under his own Metropolitan logo and also at Monogram.
This one is more of a version of "Phantom of the Desert" than it is an exact-remake, and the dude ranch angle, equipped with a swimming pool, makes this one visually more interesting, especially when the uncredited (as a cast member) Carol Shandrew and beautiful-brunette Jayne Regan show up as ranch guests, and each wearing a tight, white-one piece swim suit that makes the mini-skirt job worn by Lana Turner in "The Postman Always Knocks Twice" look like something that Little Red Riding Hood might have worn to go see Grandmother. When next (and last seen)Carol Shandrew (credited on this film as the author of a story written by somebody else) appears on a screen, it is in another Ray-Webb production "Tracy Rides", as the leading lady. When the uncredited Jayne Regan's name appears on a screen it is as the writer of a Ray-Webb film (originally written by Bennett Cohen) called "Terror of the Plains", followed by leading lady roles in six more Ray-Webb productions, before she landed a player's contract at Fox/20th Century Fox covering a period of three years from 1935 to 1938. Plus the lead in a 1938 jungle-exploiter, distributed by Paramount, called "Boo-Loo." Is it possible that an actress auditioning for an acting role at Reliable had to first show she had other attributes...such as writing? If not, then the only other possibility is that two beautiful, girl writers show up, sold a script and then Ray-Webb struck gold by discovering that these two unknown writers could also act. Some may think there are actually more than the two possibilities mentioned above, but it would take a real cynic to think that.
With rare exceptions, such as the two mentioned above and a couple of others, the only writing names that appeared on Ray-Webb films over the years (not counting the many non-de-plumes,as directors and writers, employed by Bernard B. Ray and Harry S. Webb) were Ray, Webb, Rose Gordon, Carl Krusada and Bennett Cohen. Since Rose Gordon was the wife of Harry S. Webb, it is not likely she was overjoyed when her spouse paid money for scripts written by two unknown, aspiring actresses...especially when those scripts looked vaguely suspicious like some Rose Gordon had written before. So maybe Bernard B. Ray ( a notch higher on Reliable's pecking order than Webb, although their positions would be reversed when Webb formed Metropolitan Pictures Corporation in 1938),was the talent finder for Reliable, and was the one who discovered that Carol Shandrew and Jayne Regan had talents that extended beyond writing...such as acting.
"Ridin' Thru"'s leading lady Ruth Hiatt never had any writing credits, but she took no back seat to either Shandrew or Regan, when it came down to also having the talent needed to wear a white, one-piece swim suit(cut low at the top and high at the bottom)in a B-western.
- Dec 9, 2005