Call the Mesquiteers (1938)

55 mins | Western | 7 March 1938

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Calling the Mesquiteers and Desert Trail Riders . In its review of the film, NYT quipped that "anti-double feature societies will find a strong argument for their cause at the Central Theatre this week," referring to a then important topic among exhibitors and the public, whether or not major films should be shown in tandem with a secondary feature. Such second features were frequently Westerns. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Frank Ellis, Curley Dresden, Jack Ingram, Ethan Laidlaw, Tom Steele and Al Taylor. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and See Entry on The Three Mesquiteers ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Calling the Mesquiteers and Desert Trail Riders . In its review of the film, NYT quipped that "anti-double feature societies will find a strong argument for their cause at the Central Theatre this week," referring to a then important topic among exhibitors and the public, whether or not major films should be shown in tandem with a secondary feature. Such second features were frequently Westerns. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Frank Ellis, Curley Dresden, Jack Ingram, Ethan Laidlaw, Tom Steele and Al Taylor. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and See Entry on The Three Mesquiteers . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Mar 1938.
---
Film Daily
25 Feb 38
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 38
p. 38.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Mar 38
p. 42.
New York Times
19 Mar 38
p. 11.
Variety
2 Mar 38
p. 25.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Desert Trail Riders
Calling the Mesquiteers
Release Date:
7 March 1938
Production Date:
began mid January 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 March 1938
Copyright Number:
LP7865
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA "High Fidelity" Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55
Length(in feet):
4,913
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
4066
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

The Desert Express train has been robbed three times in the last several months, and each time the robbers have gotten away with shipments of silk. As the robbers hurredly drive away from their latest crime, during which a railroad brakeman was killed, they crash their truck, then hijack one driven by the Three Mesquiteers, Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin. Motorcycle policemen pursue the truck and kill two of the robbers. After Lullaby shoots the third, the police catch up with them and assume that the Mesquiteers are the robbers. Because the police and passing motorists refuse to believe that they are not the train robbers, the Mesquiteers are forced to flee after shooting out the tires of the police motorcycles. After stopping briefly at a cabin, the Mesquiteers are again pursued by the motorcycle policemen, but after a heated chase, the Mesquiteers escape. They then encounter Dr. Aurelius Irving, the owner of a medicine show, and his children, Madge and Timothy, who have run out of gas on a remote road. The Mesquiteers pretend to be performers themselves and are believed by Aurelius, who is impressed with Lullaby's "pal" Elmer, a ventriloquist's dummy. The group then travels to the old mining town of Canyon Springs, where they are greeted by a kindly old man named Hardy who, unknown to the Mesquiteers, is the boss of the silk smuggling ring. Because a reward has been offered for the Mesquiteers, Hardy decides that calling the sheriff will rid him of the snooping visitors. The Mesquiteers again elude capture and Aurelius thinks that they are the silk robbers, but Timothy convinces his father ... +


The Desert Express train has been robbed three times in the last several months, and each time the robbers have gotten away with shipments of silk. As the robbers hurredly drive away from their latest crime, during which a railroad brakeman was killed, they crash their truck, then hijack one driven by the Three Mesquiteers, Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin. Motorcycle policemen pursue the truck and kill two of the robbers. After Lullaby shoots the third, the police catch up with them and assume that the Mesquiteers are the robbers. Because the police and passing motorists refuse to believe that they are not the train robbers, the Mesquiteers are forced to flee after shooting out the tires of the police motorcycles. After stopping briefly at a cabin, the Mesquiteers are again pursued by the motorcycle policemen, but after a heated chase, the Mesquiteers escape. They then encounter Dr. Aurelius Irving, the owner of a medicine show, and his children, Madge and Timothy, who have run out of gas on a remote road. The Mesquiteers pretend to be performers themselves and are believed by Aurelius, who is impressed with Lullaby's "pal" Elmer, a ventriloquist's dummy. The group then travels to the old mining town of Canyon Springs, where they are greeted by a kindly old man named Hardy who, unknown to the Mesquiteers, is the boss of the silk smuggling ring. Because a reward has been offered for the Mesquiteers, Hardy decides that calling the sheriff will rid him of the snooping visitors. The Mesquiteers again elude capture and Aurelius thinks that they are the silk robbers, but Timothy convinces his father that the men are honest. While his dog is following a scent, Timothy discovers the hideout of the silk robbers in an abandoned mine and overhears the bandits discussing their recent robbery and the murder of the brakeman. When the bandits discover Timothy, they decide to take him with them when they leave. They then put Timothy in the back of one of their trucks and drive off, pursued by the dog. Two of the bandits try to shoot the dog, but the dog eludes them and jumps aboard the truck, then disarms one of the gang. Just then the Mesquiteers arrive and disarm Phillips, the second-in-command. Timothy tells them that Hardy is the head of the gang and is in another truck, so Tucson and Stony go after him. They shoot out one of the tires, after which Lullaby arrives with the other truck. As the gang members board what they think is still their own truck, Lullaby knocks each one out and waits for the sheriff. +

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

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