(director: R. G. Springsteen; screenwriter: Louise Rousseau; cinematographer: Alfred Keller; editor: Arthur Roberts; music: Mort Glickman; cast: Monte Hale (Monte Hale), Adrian Booth (Julia Collins), Paul Hurst (‘Lucky’ John Hawkins), William Haade (Marlowe), John Alvin (Jeff Collins), LeRoy Mason (Faro), Tom London (Sheriff Blanchard), Ted Adams (Doc Thornhill); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Melville Tucker; Republic; 1947)

“Unconvincing and overplotted Western.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Unconvincing and overplotted Western directed by R. G. Springsteen and written by Louise Rousseau. In 1873, after the national financial panic, the area around the Colorado Territory is being plagued with holdups from the notorious Marlowe gang (four gangs rolled into one). Monte Hale (Monte Hale) is a medical student working summers in an Allentown, Texas bank. He’s engaged to the sweet Julia Collins (Adrian Booth); her brother Jeff (John Alvin) is a member of the Marlowe gang–something she’s clueless about. Jeff writes her a letter that he’s in Denver, but he’s secretly returned to his hometown and along with two henchmen robs the bank. He overtakes Monte at closing time, but before he can escape bank president Ben Worth walks in and is shot by the two henchmen. Monte gets blamed for the robbery/murder, accused of being a part of the Marlowe gang, and in order not to upset Julia doesn’t tell that it was her brother. He escapes the local sheriff and heads to gang headquarters in Rim Rock, Colorado, where he gets employed by saloon/bank owner ‘Lucky’ John Hawkins (Paul Hurst) as a singer with Foy Willing & the Riders of the Purple Sage.

Julia takes the stagecoach to Denver to get Jeff to help find Monte, but gets wounded when the Marlowe gang holdup the stage. Monte successfully treats her wound, and gets called to treat gang leader Marlowe’s (William Haade) leg wound at the hideout. Jeff is warned by Monte to leave the gang, but fails to listen. After many gunfights, matters get settled as expected.

The Riders of the Purple Sage perform a variety of familiar country songs, the shoot-outs are lively, it’s filmed in lush Trucolor, but it never becomes more than a routine B Western.

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