The Durango Kid (1940)
- Summaries (2)
The first film in which Charles Starrett played an alter-ego character known as "The Durango Kid" but this entry, for all intents and purposes, has only the names of Starrett and "Durango" in common with the long (long, long) "Durango Kid" series Starrett starred in from late-1944, beginning with "The Return of the Durango Kid" until 1952. Rancher Sam Lowry is killed by Mace Ballard because he learned that Ballard's men are waging war against the homesteaders. Ballard blames the killing on "The Durango Kid", a a mysterious frontier Robin Hood friendly to the homesteaders. This accusation makes Bill Lowry more than a little suspicious of Ballard for, unknown to anyone, he is the Durango Kid, a role he has assumed in order to fight against the Ballard gang. When Ballard's men raid the Ben Winslow homestead, they are driven off by Bill and his ranch hands but not before the home is burned and the cattle scattered. Taking a shine to Winslow's daughter, Nancy, Bill masks himself as "Durango", strips Ballard of all his cash and gives it to the homesteaders. Ballard has U. S. Marshal Trayboe post a reward for "Durango", and Trayboe, wiser than Ballard gives him credit for, makes Bill a deputy charged with bringing "Durango" in. The Kid keeps taking money from Ballard and giving it to the homesteaders that have been burned out and hiding in Hidden Valley. Ballard kidnaps Nancy and sets a trap for Bill, whom he now suspects is "Durango". But, with the help of Marshal Trayboe, Bill escapes and kills Ballard, who boasted in front of Bill that he has killed the elder Lowry, in a gunfight. Bill Lowry officially retires as "The Durango Kid" and settles in on his father's ranch with Nancy,
Bill Lowry returns just as his father is killed. He suspects Ballard and in the guise of the Durango Kid, starts robbing him. He gives the money to the burned out homesteaders but Ballard catches Nancy with the money. Ballard suspects Lowry is the Kid and tells him he has retrieved the money. Thinking the Kid will try to get the money back, he sets a trap for him.
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