|THE GUNMAN FROM BODIE (director: Spencer Gordon Bennet; screenwriters: Adele Buffington (as Jess Bowers); cinematographers: Allen Thompson/Harry Neumann; editor: Carl Pierson; music: Edward Kay; cast: Buck Jones (Marshal Buck Roberts/Bob "Bodie" Bronson), Tim McCoy (Marshal McCall), Raymond Hatton (Sandy Hopkins), Robert Frazer (Wyatt), Ed Brady (Crane, Wyatt's bookkeeper), Christine MacIntyre (Alice Borden), David O'Brien (Joe Martin), Charles King (Steve), Lynton Brent (Red), Max Waizman (Sheriff Cox), John Merton (Bill Cook), Frank LaRue (Jud Mason); Runtime: 63; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Scott R. Dunlap; Mill Creek Entertainment; 1941)|
|"This so-so Ranger episode
involves killer rustlers who are land-grabbers and
has the three marshals appearing to be strangers, as
one goes undercover to infiltrate the gang."
by Dennis Schwartz
Gordon Bennet ("Devil Goddess"/"The Bounty
Killer"/"Killer Ape") directs without distinction this
typical formulaic "Rough Riders" oater. This so-so Ranger
episode involves killer rustlers who are land-grabbers
and has the three marshals appearing to be strangers,
as one goes undercover to infiltrate the gang. It's
written by Jess Bowers, aka Adele Buffington.
Marshal Buck Roberts (Buck
Jones) poses as
wanted outlaw "Bodie"
is pursued by Marshal McCall (Tim
McCoy). Buck discovers an orphan boy infant in
the Gibbs ranch, where his parents were killed by the
rustlers and mom in a note identifies the killer as
Bill Cook (John Merton). The third Rough
Rider is Sandy Hopkins (Raymond Hatton),
who poses as the new cook on the ranch owned by Alice
MacIntyre), who takes possession of the
ranch after her dad was killed by rustlers. He was
killed on a night when the rustlers went on a rampage
and killed over ten ranchers, and have scared the
honest ranch-hands off. The oily head of the Larabie
Water Company and real estate lawyer, Wyatt (Robert
Frazer), has power of attorney over Borden's
estate and has hired his own thugs as replacements.
Wyatt wants Alice to sell at a cheap price to her
slimy neighbor rancher Jud Mason (Frank LaRue),
someone Wyatt is secretly partners with to take over
the ranches in the valley. But the feisty Alice says
no and hires her childhood romantic interest Joe
O'Brien) to be her new foreman. The lad's
cowboy father was also killed by rustlers, and wants
to badly get his killers. Meanwhile Buck leaves
the little shaver with Alice, as she's the nearest
ranch to the Gibbs place.
Bodie infiltrates the gang run by Wyatt and Mason, he
uncovers that the weasel sheriff (Max Waizman)
works for Wyatt, that Wyatt's flunky bookkeeper (Ed Brady) is
also in on the rustling scheme and that Steve (Charles
King) is the vicious field boss of the rustlers.
expected, the marshals accomplish their mission and
all the baddies get arrested before they can rustle
another rancher. Problem is that after the opening
scene there's no suspense, just a rote pursuit of the
REVIEWED ON 9/6/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ