DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

SANTA FE UPRISING (director/writer: R. G. Springsteen; screenwriter: Earle Snell/from the comic strip by Fred Harman; cinematographer: Bud Thackery; editor: Wm. P. Thompson; music:  Mort Glickman; cast: Allan Lane (Red Ryder),  Robert Blake (Little Beaver), Martha Wentworth (The Duchess), Pat Michaels (Sonny Dibble), Jack La Rue (Bruce Jackson), Emmett Lynn (Deputy Hank), Barton MacLane (Crawford), Edmund Cobb (Madison Pike), Hank Patterson (Jake), Tom London (Lafe Dibble), Dick Curtis (Luke Case), Forrest Taylor (Moore), Edythe Elliott (Mrs. Dibble); Runtime: 54; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sidney Picker; Republic Pictures; 1946)

"The first entry of Allan Lane in the "Red Ryder" series is not bad for a programmer."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The first entry of Allan Lane in the "Red Ryder" series is not bad for a programmer. R. G. Springsteen ("The Arizona Cowboy"/"Stagecoach to Denver"/"Under Colorado Skies") directs the B Western with a workman-like efficiency. It's based on the newspaper comic strip by Fred Harman, and is written by Earle Snell.

The Duchess (Martha Wentworth), the aunt of Red Ryder (Allan Lane), comes to Bitter Springs, from her nearby ranch, in the New Mexico territory, to inherit a toll road when the owner, Madison Pike (Edmund Cobb), her fourth cousin and only surviving relative, is killed accidentally in a gun fight at a road crossing where his opponents were both wounded. The rancher Lafe Dibble (Tom London) is mortally wounded while his son Sonny (Pat Michaels) is only slightly wounded. There's been a lot of trouble in Bitter Springs, such as a marshal killed, the free government road to Santa Fe has every rancher robbed while transporting goods but the richest one, Madison Pike. There's no law and order in the territory.

Pike gets the ire of the local ranchers because he owns a private toll road and charges a high price to be used.

The citizens are unaware that the newspaper publisher, Crawford (Barton MacLane), is the secret leader of the rustlers and hold-up men that are behind the crime wave and that he is partnered with Pike.

Meanwhile the town puts up the toll road for auction, even as Red sends them a telegram that the toll road now belongs to the Duchess. Crawford plans on getting the road, and orders his henchmen, Jackson (Jack La Rue) and Luke (Dick Curtis), to kill the Duchess when she arrives in town. Luke attempts to force the Duchess' stage off the road, but Red and his Indian ward, Little Beaver (Robert Blake), come to her rescue in time. After Red beats up the culprit Luke, the happy locals make him marshal. Red appoints the ranch hands of the Duchess as his deputies. When the Duchess refuses to sell the road to Crawford, the bad dude schemes to ruin her. The bad guys will soon kidnap Little Beaver, and threaten to kill him if Red fails to turn over the imprisoned Sonny to them. Sonny was arrested for fatally shooting the elderly deputy Hank (Emmett Lynn), who he mistakenly thought was stealing his cattle. The gang is fearful that Sonny will show proof that the cattle was rustled by them from Lafe's ranch, and aim to eliminate him. It's up to Red to out-trick Crawford and save the day. He does so by refusing to turn Sonny over to a lynch mob orchestrated by the gang and then rescues Little Beaver. Afterwards Red and his deputies arrest Crawford and his gang. The Duchess then cheers the locals by turning the dreaded toll road over to the town.

REVIEWED ON 2/2/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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