Night Riders of Montana (1951)

60 mins | Western | 28 February 1951

Director:

Fred C. Brannon

Cinematographer:

John MacBurnie

Production Designer:

Frank Hotaling

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Mar 1951.
---
Daily Variety
7 Mar 51
p. 6.
Film Daily
9 Mar 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Apr 51
p. 794.
Variety
14 Mar 51
p. 7.
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 February 1951
Production Date:
24 November--4 December 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 February 1951
Copyright Number:
LP736
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15035
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Rustlers have been plaguing the area around the Montana town of Westline. In response to the ranchers' plea for help, the governor agrees to form a corps of state rangers on the condition that the ranchers supply the horses. All of the ranchers, led by Sam Foster, readily agree to the plan, except for Steve Bauer, who has not lost any animals. Roger Brandon, the local gunsmith, pulls Steve aside and suggests that Steve stay in the good graces of the other ranchers by contributing horses, and learn where the ranchers plan to take horses for pickup by the rangers. The next day as Steve apologizes to Sam, masked men shoot Sam dead. Steve chases the men and exchanges gunfire with them, and Allan "Rocky" Lane, one of the rangers who has arrived early, tries to assist Steve, but the gunmen get away. Meanwhile, the other ranchers assume that Steve killed Sam, and report this to Sheriff Skeeter Davis, who decides to withhold judgment until he can hear both sides. When Brandon, who is the leader of the horse rustlers, hears of Sam's death, he berates his accomplice, Brink Stiles, for killing Sam before they learned the location of the pickup, and could then steal the herd from the rangers. As soon as Steve and Rocky ride into town together, the locals threaten to string Steve up, even against Skeeter's orders. Rocky, knowing Steve is innocent, tries to intervene, but before he can say much, gunmen blaze through town and abduct Steve. While Rocky tries to follow the abductors, Skeeter attempts to mollify the town hotheads, in particular, Sam's ... +


Rustlers have been plaguing the area around the Montana town of Westline. In response to the ranchers' plea for help, the governor agrees to form a corps of state rangers on the condition that the ranchers supply the horses. All of the ranchers, led by Sam Foster, readily agree to the plan, except for Steve Bauer, who has not lost any animals. Roger Brandon, the local gunsmith, pulls Steve aside and suggests that Steve stay in the good graces of the other ranchers by contributing horses, and learn where the ranchers plan to take horses for pickup by the rangers. The next day as Steve apologizes to Sam, masked men shoot Sam dead. Steve chases the men and exchanges gunfire with them, and Allan "Rocky" Lane, one of the rangers who has arrived early, tries to assist Steve, but the gunmen get away. Meanwhile, the other ranchers assume that Steve killed Sam, and report this to Sheriff Skeeter Davis, who decides to withhold judgment until he can hear both sides. When Brandon, who is the leader of the horse rustlers, hears of Sam's death, he berates his accomplice, Brink Stiles, for killing Sam before they learned the location of the pickup, and could then steal the herd from the rangers. As soon as Steve and Rocky ride into town together, the locals threaten to string Steve up, even against Skeeter's orders. Rocky, knowing Steve is innocent, tries to intervene, but before he can say much, gunmen blaze through town and abduct Steve. While Rocky tries to follow the abductors, Skeeter attempts to mollify the town hotheads, in particular, Sam's son Jim, who wants revenge. After Skeeter confiscates Jim's gun, Jim immediately goes to Brandon's gunshop to buy another, but Brandon tampers with it before selling it. At the shack where Steve has been taken, Brandon convinces Steve that he is hiding him from vigilantes until his innocence is proven. Brandon, who actually plans to make Steve the fall-guy for the next heist, arranges for Steve to meet with his sister Julie and instruct her to learn the pickup place of the herd and leave a message for him in a certain hollow tree. Skeeter and Rocky find Steve at Julie's house, but Brandon's men arrive once again and take him away. Steve believes they are rescuing him, but eventually Rocky and Skeeter convince Julie to trust them and write a note asking Steve to meet with her the next morning to obtain the information. Jim, who has been sneaking around Julie's house hoping to find Steve, follows her to the tree, and when Steve arrives to pick up the note, shoots at Steve. The gun misfires, and Steve rides away. Rocky, who saw the attack, tries to follow Steve, but is hindered by Jim and loses the trail. Steve reports to Brandon the contents of the note and states that he was pursued, so Brandon, pretending to protect Steve, decides to send Brink with him in the morning. Later, when Jim appears at the gunshop with the faulty gun, Brandon hints that Steve may be one of the rustlers, prompting Jim to reveal the location of the pickup. Brandon suggests that Steve and some of Brandon's men intercept Jim at his morning meeting with Julie, and Jim accepts what he believes to be an offer of help. However, when Jim leaves, Brandon orders his men to use the confusion of the morning meeting to kill Steve, Jim and Rocky. As planned, Jim waits with some of Brandon's men outside the Bauer house in the morning, but gets impatient and calls for Steve to come out. Annoyed that Jim is derailing their plans, one of the thugs shoots him in the leg. Rocky pulls Jim into the barn for safety, and when Steve tells him his side of the story, they realize that Brandon is double dealing. In a gunfight, Rocky shoots the thugs, and sends Jim to round up Skeeter and the other rangers. He and Steve proceed to the canyon where the herd is being held, and find Brandon and Brink with other thieves waiting to ambush the ranchers. Rocky and Steve start shooting to disperse the horses, and the thieves try to herd them off, but Skeeter and the other rangers arrive and apprehend most of the remaining thieves. Brink and Brandon try to get away, but Rocky follows them to the gunshop. There, they fight, but Rocky outshoots them. After Steve's name is cleared, Rocky rides off to catch up with the other rangers. +

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

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