Rustlers on Horseback (1950)

60 mins | Western | 23 October 1950

Director:

Fred C. Brannon

Writer:

Richard Wormser

Cinematographer:

John MacBurnie

Editor:

Robert M. Leeds

Production Designer:

Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Fightin' with Kit Carson ... More Less

The working title of this film was Fightin' with Kit Carson . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Nov 1950.
---
Daily Variety
10 Nov 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Nov 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Nov 50
p. 570.
Variety
15 Nov 50
p. 18.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Fightin' with Kit Carson
Release Date:
23 October 1950
Production Date:
15 July--late July 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 November 1950
Copyright Number:
LP502
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60
Length(in feet):
5,298
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14757
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

While being pursued by Deputy Marshal "Rocky" Lane, gunslinger Jake Clune rides into a tree limb and falls off his horse, unconscious. Rocky stops Clune's horse and, with help from passing peddler Nugget Clark, tends to Clune's injuries. After Nugget assures Rocky that his suspect will recover, Rocky leaves to gather firewood. During his absence, Clune revives and, certain that he is dying, confesses to Nugget that he was on his way to do a "job" at the Reynolds ranch. When Clune then realizes that his injury is not fatal, he escapes from Nugget, but is recaptured by Rocky. That night, at their campsite, Rocky tries to persuade Clune to reveal details of his mission, but the gunslinger, who is handcuffed to Rocky, refuses to talk. Later, Rocky and Clune are spotted in camp by an outlaw named Murray, who reports his finding to his boss, Leo Straykin, at the Reynolds' ranch. Straykin orders Murray and Beebe, another henchman, to kill Rocky and bring in Clune. The outlaws mistake Clune for Rocky, however, and kill him. Seeing an opportunity, Rocky decides to pose as Clune, but his impersonation is almost exposed when Nugget tries to "rescue" him at the ranch. The quick-thinking Rocky identifies Nugget as his lookout, and Straykin accepts the two into his gang. Straykin explains to Rocky and Nugget that he intends to sell the ranch for $125,000 and use the money to start an enormous raiding operation. Believing that the Easterner who is to buy the ranch, Josh Taylor, will be carrying the money on him, Straykin prepares to ambush Josh's stagecoach and thereby force him to ... +


While being pursued by Deputy Marshal "Rocky" Lane, gunslinger Jake Clune rides into a tree limb and falls off his horse, unconscious. Rocky stops Clune's horse and, with help from passing peddler Nugget Clark, tends to Clune's injuries. After Nugget assures Rocky that his suspect will recover, Rocky leaves to gather firewood. During his absence, Clune revives and, certain that he is dying, confesses to Nugget that he was on his way to do a "job" at the Reynolds ranch. When Clune then realizes that his injury is not fatal, he escapes from Nugget, but is recaptured by Rocky. That night, at their campsite, Rocky tries to persuade Clune to reveal details of his mission, but the gunslinger, who is handcuffed to Rocky, refuses to talk. Later, Rocky and Clune are spotted in camp by an outlaw named Murray, who reports his finding to his boss, Leo Straykin, at the Reynolds' ranch. Straykin orders Murray and Beebe, another henchman, to kill Rocky and bring in Clune. The outlaws mistake Clune for Rocky, however, and kill him. Seeing an opportunity, Rocky decides to pose as Clune, but his impersonation is almost exposed when Nugget tries to "rescue" him at the ranch. The quick-thinking Rocky identifies Nugget as his lookout, and Straykin accepts the two into his gang. Straykin explains to Rocky and Nugget that he intends to sell the ranch for $125,000 and use the money to start an enormous raiding operation. Believing that the Easterner who is to buy the ranch, Josh Taylor, will be carrying the money on him, Straykin prepares to ambush Josh's stagecoach and thereby force him to pay twice for the same property. When he sees the other passengers onboard, however, he changes his mind. In the town of Sloan Junction, Straykin, Rocky and Nugget then meet the stage and are introduced to Josh; his land agent, George Parradine; his lawyer, Ken Jordan; and Bob Bennett, his surveyor. Rocky is sure that one of the men with Josh is Straykin's boss and decides to lay low until he can determine his identity. At dinner, Josh reveals to Straykin and the others that his brother, a sheriff, is keeping the $125,000 safe until he receives a certain keepsake from Josh, indicating that the sale is to proceed. After Bob takes a potshot at Straykin while he is showing Josh the ranch, Rocky deduces that the surveyor is actually Jack Reynolds, the former owner's son, and identifies himself to Jack as a marshal. Jack confides in Rocky his suspicion that Straykin murdered his father and stole his ranch, but Rocky convinces him to continue his impersonation for twenty-four more hours and not confront the outlaw. The next day, Rocky and Nugget see Jack's wife Carol arriving and, fearing for her safety, persuade her to hide at the Sloan Junction hotel. Just as Murray and Straykin are becoming suspicious of Rocky and Nugget, Parradine reveals that he is the boss and is keeping Jack's wife hostage at the hotel. Rocky persuades Parradine to allow him to pose as a marshal in order to sneak Carol out of town and kill her. Rocky then shows Parradine and Straykin his own badge, which he claims to have taken off his captor's body, and pins it on as he leaves for town with Jack, who is to deliver a package for Josh. As Rocky is riding away from the ranch, Murray sees him wearing the badge and tells Straykin that Rocky could not have taken it off the dead man's body. Parradine orders Murray to race to town to warn Carol's captor about Rocky, while he and Straykin try to force Josh to sign the sale papers. After Nugget joins Rocky and Jack on the road into town, lawyer Jordan rides up and informs them that Straykin's title to the ranch is a phony. Rocky instructs Jordan to go to the ranch and prevent Josh from signing the sale papers, but when Straykin becomes impatient with Josh's stalling and tries to shoot him, Jordan interferes and is killed. Now realizing that the package Jack is carrying is Josh's token, Parradine and Straykin take off to assure its delivery. The outlaws meet Rocky, Nugget and Jack at the hotel, and after Jack and Nugget manage to flee with Carol, Rocky shoots Straykin. Rocky then intercepts Parradine and his men as they are chasing after Nugget's wagon, and a gunfight ensues. Finally, Rocky shoots Parradine and subdues the others. Later, after Josh thanks Jack and Carol for selling him a part of their ranch, they all thank Rocky, who bids them farewell. +

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

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