STAGE TO MESA CITY (director: Ray Taylor; screenwriter: Joseph F. Poland; cinematographer: James Brown; editor: Hugh Winn; music: Walter Greene; cast: “Lash” LaRue (Marshal Cheyenne Davis, also known as The Cheyenne Kid), Al “Fuzzy” St. John (“Fuzzy” Q. Jones), Jennifer Holt (Margie Watson), George Chesebro (Tom Padgett, postmaster), Brad Slavin (Bob Watson), Marshall Reed (Baxter), Terry Frost (Ed Williams), Carl Mathews (Jim), Bob Woodward (Pete, stagecoach driver), Steve Clark (John Watson), Frank Ellis (Stocker, saloon owner), Lee Morgan (Mesa City Sheriff); Runtime: 52; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jerry Thomas; Grapevine Video; 1947)
“For what it is, it’s an enjoyable formulaic action-packed B-Western that’s crudely slapped together on the cheap.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
For what it is, it’s an enjoyable formulaic action-packed B-Western that’s crudely slapped together on the cheap. If you like these unsophisticated B-Westerns, this one is a good choice. Just don’t expect anything special. But in the Cheyenne series, popular with the youngsters, this one proved to be a real crowd-pleaser. Ray Taylor (“Son of Billy the Kid”/”Range Justice”/ “Dead Man’s Gold”) directs and it’s written by Joseph F. Poland.
In the Old West, out in Mesa City, John Watson holds a mortgage on a struggling stagecoach line and awaits a lucrative postal mail contract if he makes regular runs to satisfy a postal inspector. Watson is being sabotaged by a crooked lawyer named Baxter, who works for a mysterious big boss–the brains behind the operation to snatch the stagecoach line from Watson. Baxter hires out a couple of goons, who work for saloon keeper Stocker, to hold-up the stage. When it’s learned from the big boss that Watson’s son Bob and his wife Margie sold their ranch to help Bob’s financially strapped father and is coming to Mesa City to deliver the money, out on the trail the gang kills Watson and tries to rob Bob. Only because the whip-wielding federal marshal Cheyenne Davis and his bumbling partner Fuzzy come by and intercede, is the robbery averted.
The marshal stays in town, and as a cover for his investigation works as Bob’s business manager. Soon the marshal smokes out Baxter and it leads to the discovery that the big boss is a leading citizen no one would suspect, unless you’re a regular movie goer and knew from the get-go how these mystery things work in B-films.
REVIEWED ON 4/23/2008 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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