Code of the Outlaw (1942)

55 or 57 mins | Western | 30 January 1942

Director:

John English

Writer:

Barry Shipman

Cinematographers:

Reggie Lanning, Bud Thackery

Editor:

Charles Craft

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Riders of the Sunset Trail . The opening title card to the film reads "Republic Pictures presents The Three Mesquiteers in Code of the Outlaw ," followed by pictures of Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Rufe Davis with their names and characters names superimposed. According to a HR news item, Ivan Goff was to work on the script; however, the extent of his contribution to the completed picture has not been determined. Modern sources include Wally West and Cactus Mack in the cast. For more information about the series, consult the Series Index and the entry for The Three Mesquiteers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

The working title of this film was Riders of the Sunset Trail . The opening title card to the film reads "Republic Pictures presents The Three Mesquiteers in Code of the Outlaw ," followed by pictures of Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Rufe Davis with their names and characters names superimposed. According to a HR news item, Ivan Goff was to work on the script; however, the extent of his contribution to the completed picture has not been determined. Modern sources include Wally West and Cactus Mack in the cast. For more information about the series, consult the Series Index and the entry for The Three Mesquiteers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4617). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Feb 1942.
---
Daily Variety
2 Mar 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Feb 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 41
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Feb 42
p. 494.
Variety
18 Feb 42
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by William Colt MacDonald.
SONGS
"Rootin' Tootin' Terror of the West," music and lyrics by Hy Heath.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Riders of the Sunset Trail
Release Date:
30 January 1942
Production Date:
began early December 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 January 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11098
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55 or 57
Length(in feet):
5,194
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8016
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

A stagecoach carrying the Billings Mining Co. payroll is attacked when the guards are distracted by a boy being carried off in an apparently runaway wagon. Also attempting to help the boy are The Three Mesquiteers, "Stony" Brooke, "Tucson" Smith and "Lullaby" Joslin. The boy, Tim Hardin, easily gains control of the wagon, eludes the Mesquiteers and joins the gang, which is led by his father. While Hardin and his son hide the money, the town sheriff, Ed Stoddard, is castigated by the citizens for letting another robbery occur. Ed tells them that he has sent for the Mesquiteers, but Stony, Tucson and Lullaby are ridiculed themselves after they are deputized, when everyone learns that they unwittingly aided Tim. When one of the gang arrives in town to seek treatment for a wound received during the holdup, the Mesquiteers follow him to the gang's hideout. A shootout ensues, during which Hardin is shot accidentally by the wounded man. The Mesquiteers capture Tim, who accuses them of killing his father. Mistakenly believing that the Mesquiteers are mistreating Tim when they question him about the money, reporter Sue Dayton has him sent to a work farm. The Mesquiteers then lie to the farm's superintendent, Boyle, telling him that Lullaby and his wife, who does not exist, wish to adopt a son. To escape a bully, Tim accompanies the Mesquiteers to their ranch, and there he is gradually swayed by their genuine interest in him. Tim is perplexed, for his father had told him that a "squealer" was "so low he could walk under a dead skunk standing up," yet he wants ... +


A stagecoach carrying the Billings Mining Co. payroll is attacked when the guards are distracted by a boy being carried off in an apparently runaway wagon. Also attempting to help the boy are The Three Mesquiteers, "Stony" Brooke, "Tucson" Smith and "Lullaby" Joslin. The boy, Tim Hardin, easily gains control of the wagon, eludes the Mesquiteers and joins the gang, which is led by his father. While Hardin and his son hide the money, the town sheriff, Ed Stoddard, is castigated by the citizens for letting another robbery occur. Ed tells them that he has sent for the Mesquiteers, but Stony, Tucson and Lullaby are ridiculed themselves after they are deputized, when everyone learns that they unwittingly aided Tim. When one of the gang arrives in town to seek treatment for a wound received during the holdup, the Mesquiteers follow him to the gang's hideout. A shootout ensues, during which Hardin is shot accidentally by the wounded man. The Mesquiteers capture Tim, who accuses them of killing his father. Mistakenly believing that the Mesquiteers are mistreating Tim when they question him about the money, reporter Sue Dayton has him sent to a work farm. The Mesquiteers then lie to the farm's superintendent, Boyle, telling him that Lullaby and his wife, who does not exist, wish to adopt a son. To escape a bully, Tim accompanies the Mesquiteers to their ranch, and there he is gradually swayed by their genuine interest in him. Tim is perplexed, for his father had told him that a "squealer" was "so low he could walk under a dead skunk standing up," yet he wants to help the Mesquiteers retrieve the money as thanks for their kindness. The boy solves his problem by leaving an "anonymous" note and the receipt for the money in the Mesquiteers' mailbox, but when he returns to the house, he hears his friends arguing with Sue and Boyle, who have uncovered the adoption deception. Tim misinterprets the argument to mean that the Mesquiteers are just using him, when in fact they really want to adopt him. The youngster runs away but is caught by Taggart, who makes him retrieve the receipt. When Lullaby sees Tim by the mailbox, Taggart shoots him, and Tim leaves his note in Lullaby's jacket. Lullaby revives when Stony and Tucson return from searching for Tim, and they follow the note's instructions to a nearby Wells Fargo office, where Tim and Taggart have already retrieved the money. As Tim and Taggart make their escape in the stage, Taggart is surprised by another member of the gang, whom he was attempting to doublecross. Taggart shoots the man, then the stage's driver and guard. The Mesquiteers chase the coach, and as Tim jumps out onto Lullaby's horse, Stony subdues Taggart and Tucson stops the stage. Tim hands the money over to the Mesquiteers, and soon all ends well as they send their young ward off to military school. +

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

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