Desert Vigilante (1949)

56 mins | Western | 8 April 1949

Director:

Fred F. Sears

Writer:

Earle Snell

Producer:

Colbert Clark

Cinematographer:

Rex Wimpy

Editor:

Paul Borofsky

Production Designer:

Charles Clague

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

DV mistakenly lists the film's running time as 64 minutes. For more information on "The Durango Kid" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Return of the Durango Kid ... More Less

DV mistakenly lists the film's running time as 64 minutes. For more information on "The Durango Kid" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Return of the Durango Kid . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
1 Jul 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 49
p. 4.
Variety
24 Aug 49
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
SOUND
SOURCES
SONGS
"I'll Never Let You Go, Little Darlin'," words and music by Jimmy Wakely
"He Don't Like Work" and "It Can't Be As Bad as That," words and music by Smiley Burnette
"The Sky Over California," composer undetermined.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
8 April 1949
Production Date:
14 September--22 September 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2154
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
56
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1879, in the town of San Feliz near the Mexican border, a gang of outlaws attacks Steve Brooks but is driven away by the arrival of the border patrol. The soldiers, who are trying to discover how silver is being smuggled into the country from Mexico, question Steve, and he describes his meeting a few days earlier with a man named Bob Gill: Steve rides along with Bob, who is heading for San Feliz, where he works for lawyer Thomas Hadley. Bob is shot during an ambush, but before he dies, he asks Steve to deliver a hat to his mother Angel, who lives at the Lazy Z Ranch, having ingratiated herself with the ranch's owner, Betty Long. Having satisfied the patrol that he is not a smuggler, Steve continues on to the ranch, which Betty inherited from her uncle after he was mysteriously killed. While Betty and the ranch hands are away fighting a fire at a neighboring ranch, the outlaws search her cellar. They are still there when she returns, but as soon as Betty starts to investigate, they disappear. Steve delivers the hat to Angel and then rides into San Feliz to tell Hadley that he is an undercover agent hired to investigate the silver smuggling operation. Unknown to Steve, Bob had been carrying stolen silver certificates which were to be used to buy silver illegally in Mexico. Outside Hadley's office, Bill Martin, the leader of the outlaws who killed Bob, now demands that Steve turn over "the stuff." A fight ensues, but Steve evades the outlaws and returns to the Lazy Z. There, Smiley Burnette, the ranch cook, ... +


In 1879, in the town of San Feliz near the Mexican border, a gang of outlaws attacks Steve Brooks but is driven away by the arrival of the border patrol. The soldiers, who are trying to discover how silver is being smuggled into the country from Mexico, question Steve, and he describes his meeting a few days earlier with a man named Bob Gill: Steve rides along with Bob, who is heading for San Feliz, where he works for lawyer Thomas Hadley. Bob is shot during an ambush, but before he dies, he asks Steve to deliver a hat to his mother Angel, who lives at the Lazy Z Ranch, having ingratiated herself with the ranch's owner, Betty Long. Having satisfied the patrol that he is not a smuggler, Steve continues on to the ranch, which Betty inherited from her uncle after he was mysteriously killed. While Betty and the ranch hands are away fighting a fire at a neighboring ranch, the outlaws search her cellar. They are still there when she returns, but as soon as Betty starts to investigate, they disappear. Steve delivers the hat to Angel and then rides into San Feliz to tell Hadley that he is an undercover agent hired to investigate the silver smuggling operation. Unknown to Steve, Bob had been carrying stolen silver certificates which were to be used to buy silver illegally in Mexico. Outside Hadley's office, Bill Martin, the leader of the outlaws who killed Bob, now demands that Steve turn over "the stuff." A fight ensues, but Steve evades the outlaws and returns to the Lazy Z. There, Smiley Burnette, the ranch cook, goes into the cellar and is scared by the searching men, whom he believes are "spooks." Later, Hadley visits the ranch to deliver Angel's trust fund allotment. When they are alone, Hadley, who is the smuggler's ringleader, and Angel, who is not Bob's mother, discover the missing certificates hidden inside the hat box. Later, Martin and his men demand that Hadley turn over the certificates to them. Steve interrupts their quarrel, then spots the certificates and leaves hastily. Then, disguised as masked crime fighter The Durango Kid, Steve enters from the back of the ranch house and steals the certificates. Later, Jim Gill, unaware that Bob has been killed, tells Hadley his fears that his brother is involved in a smuggling operation. Hadley pretends to know nothing about it and then sends Jim into an ambush. Steve, disguised as The Durango Kid, rescues the wounded Jim and sends him to a hideout while he draws the outlaws away. Meanwhile, Martin plots with the others to take over the smuggling operation from Hadley and Angel. Later, with Angel's help, silver bullion is delivered to the Lazy Z cellar through a secret passage. The following day, Steve, as The Durango Kid, tells Jim that Bob is dead and reveals Hadley's duplicitous nature. At the ranch, the outlaws start a stampede to cover the removal of the bullion, but Steve stops the stampede and then, with Jim's help, chases the smugglers. Together they round up Martin, his men, and the silver, but Martin escapes and kills Hadley and Angel. While chasing Martin, Steve discovers a passage that leads from the Lazy Z cellar across the Mexican border. There, the outlaws are apprehended by passing Rurales. Later, Jim takes a job with Betty at the ranch. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.