|THE THREE MESQUITEERS (director/writer: Ray Taylor; screenwriter: story by Charles R. Condon/Jack Natteford/based on the book by William Colt MacDonald; cinematographer: William Nobles; editor: William Thomson; music: Harry Grey; cast: Robert Livingston (Stony Brooke), Ray Corrigan (Tuscon Smith), Syd Saylor (Lullaby Joslin), Gene Marvey (Bob Bryant), Kay Hughes (Mary Bryant), J.P. McGowan (Brack Canfield), Al Bridge (Olin Canfield), John Merton (Bull), Frank Yaconelli (Pete), Nena Quartaro (Rosita), Allen Conner (Milt, missing leg), Duke York (Chuck, missing arm); Runtime: 53; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Nat Levine; Mill Creek Entertainment; 1936)|
does justice to the B-western genre."
by Dennis Schwartz
Taylor ("Law and Order"/"The Daltons Ride
Again"/"The Vigilantes Return") directs the initial
Three Mesquiteers serial that led to 53 films in the
long-running series that ended in 1943. It's based on
the book by
William Colt MacDonald and on Charles R.
Condon's story and Jack Natteford's
screenplay. It does justice to the B-western genre.
end of WW I, in
1919, a group of disabled vets are discharged from a
Chicago VA hospital and through the Homestead Act are
granted farming land in New Mexico's San Juan Basin.
Most of the vets suffer from being gassed and the
doctors tell them they can use the fresh air. Bob
Bryant (Gene Marvey) travels
there with his pretty sister Mary (Kay
Hughes), the others in the
large group include wannabe cowboy Lullaby (Syd
Saylor), a vet with a
missing leg (Allen Conner), a vet with a
missing arm (Duke York) and Italian-American Pete (Frank
Yaconelli). In San Juan Basin
the homesteaders are met with hostility and threats by
wealthy rancher brothers Olin and Brack Canfield (Al
Bridge & J.P. McGowan) and their foreman Bull ( John Merton), who are not vets. Carefree
cowpuncher drifters Tuscon Smith (Ray
Corrigan) and Stony Brooke (Robert
Livingston) side with the homesteaders and bond
with their fellow vets. The group must survive a
landslide caused by the evil land-grabber gang, the
burning of a ranch by the gang, the death of a veteran
with bad lungs who is tied to a bucking horse, the
absence of a sheriff to get law and order and a final
shoot-out in town between the good guys and the bad
guys, where the vets lob grenades and avenge the death
of their GI pal.
REVIEWED ON 9/7/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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