BANDIT KING OF TEXAS
(director: Fred C. Brannon; screenwriter: Olive Cooper; cinematographer: John MacBurnie; editors: Irving M. Schoenberg/Harold R. Minter; music: Stanley Wilson; cast: Allan ‘Rocky’ Lane (Allan Lane), Eddy Waller (Nugget Clark), Helene Stanley (Cynthia Turner), Jim Nolan (Dan McCabe), Harry Lauter (Tremon Turner), Robert Bice (Gus), Lane Bradford (Cal Barker), John Hamilton (Marshal John Turner), George Lloyd (Dobson); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Gordon Kay; Republic Pictures; 1949)
“Standard old-fashioned B Western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Standard old-fashioned B Western directed by Fred C. Brannon and written by Olive Cooper. There’s plenty of action but not much to remember. It features Rocky Lane heading towards Elko to help his married friends Jim and Emily Baldwin settle into the new land site they purchased, when Rocky stops outlaws from attacking a wagon carrying the new Elko marshal John Turner (John Hamilton), his son Tremon (Harry Lauter) and daughter-in-law Cynthia (Helene Stanley). Since the hub wheel broke Trem goes into town with Rocky and spots Dan McCabe (Jim Nolan) in town. He then asks Rocky to purchase the land from the Jewel Land Company his dad is giving him as a wedding present, as he pretends to visit the doctor over his hand injury. Rocky doesn’t realize it, but he’s buying land from a phony agent (George Lloyd). It also turns out that Trem is wanted for murder over a gambling game, something he says he didn’t do, and McCabe blackmails him into working for the gang. McCabe is working a get-rich-quick land scam, selling government land he doesn’t own and to avoid detection he kills his clients and takes back the deeds. After Rocky leaves the land office, he’s jumped by three of McCabe’s gang and the deed is stolen. The marshal doesn’t believe Rocky and arrests him, but Rocky escapes and brings back one of the men who robbed him. The marshal keeps both as prisoners. McCabe then coerces Trem to open the jail door and the outlaws free their man and Rocky, but Rocky senses it’s a trap to kill him and escapes. With the help of the friendly jeweler Nugget (Eddy Waller), Rocky begins to piece together that McCabe is the culprit behind all the killings (including the deaths of the Baldwins) and sets a trap for him. As expected, things work out at the end as Rocky clears his name, Trem redeems himself by helping Rocky, and the crooks are brought to justice. In a majestic gesture of forgiveness, Rocky acts all smiley around the Turners and rides off into the sunset on his horse Black Jack.
REVIEWED ON 8/30/2005 GRADE: C+