Law of the Badlands (1950)

59-60 mins | Western | December 1950

Director:

Lesley Selander

Writer:

Ed Earl Repp

Producer:

Herman Schlom

Cinematographer:

George Diskant

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Feild Gray

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Texas Triggerman . According to HR , William Tannen was cast in a part, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. HR also notes that sound man Roy Steele suffered a serious heart attack during filming. A modern source claims that, although Law of the Badlands was RKO's cheapest Tim Holt western since the war, with a budget of $98,000, it nevertheless lost $20,000 at the box ... More Less

The working title of this film was Texas Triggerman . According to HR , William Tannen was cast in a part, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. HR also notes that sound man Roy Steele suffered a serious heart attack during filming. A modern source claims that, although Law of the Badlands was RKO's cheapest Tim Holt western since the war, with a budget of $98,000, it nevertheless lost $20,000 at the box office. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Dec 1950.
---
Daily Variety
22 Dec 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Dec 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Dec 50
p. 642.
Variety
27 Dec 50
p. 6.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Texas Triggerman
Release Date:
December 1950
Production Date:
14 June--late June 1950
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 December 1950
Copyright Number:
LP593
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
59-60
Length(in feet):
5,370
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14666
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Washington, D.C., in 1890, a distressed Secretary of the Treasury confers with the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service about a Texas counterfeiting ring that has been flooding the country with phony money. To reassure the Secretary, the Chief reveals that he has requested help from the Texas Rangers. Later, at the Rangers' headquarters in Willcox, rangers Dave and Chito Rafferty are assigned to the case. As they suspect that the ring is located in the lawless town of Badland, the rangers decide to investigate while posing as wanted outlaws. Outside Badland, Dave, whose undercover name is Chuck Bennett, "the Tioga Kid," and Chito, now called Pancho Chompez, steal a bag of gold from George Dirkin and his gang of outlaws, who have just robbed a stagecoach. They then take the gold to the Badland saloon and are about to ask owner Cash Carleton, the local fence, to buy it from them when one of Cash's disgruntled customers threatens to shoot him in the back. Dave outdraws the other man, however, and a grateful Cash takes Dave and Chito to his ranch. Before doing business with the rangers, Cash accepts a shipment of phony money from Simms, a counterfeiter posing as a grain salesman. Cash then pays for the rangers' gold with counterfeit money. As they are leaving, Dave and Chito notice a man sneaking into Cash's barn and go to investigate. After the man knocks Chito unconscious and escapes from Dave, the rangers inspect the barn, but find only sacks of corn. The next day, Dave and Chito recognize the town blacksmith as the man in the barn ... +


In Washington, D.C., in 1890, a distressed Secretary of the Treasury confers with the Chief of the U.S. Secret Service about a Texas counterfeiting ring that has been flooding the country with phony money. To reassure the Secretary, the Chief reveals that he has requested help from the Texas Rangers. Later, at the Rangers' headquarters in Willcox, rangers Dave and Chito Rafferty are assigned to the case. As they suspect that the ring is located in the lawless town of Badland, the rangers decide to investigate while posing as wanted outlaws. Outside Badland, Dave, whose undercover name is Chuck Bennett, "the Tioga Kid," and Chito, now called Pancho Chompez, steal a bag of gold from George Dirkin and his gang of outlaws, who have just robbed a stagecoach. They then take the gold to the Badland saloon and are about to ask owner Cash Carleton, the local fence, to buy it from them when one of Cash's disgruntled customers threatens to shoot him in the back. Dave outdraws the other man, however, and a grateful Cash takes Dave and Chito to his ranch. Before doing business with the rangers, Cash accepts a shipment of phony money from Simms, a counterfeiter posing as a grain salesman. Cash then pays for the rangers' gold with counterfeit money. As they are leaving, Dave and Chito notice a man sneaking into Cash's barn and go to investigate. After the man knocks Chito unconscious and escapes from Dave, the rangers inspect the barn, but find only sacks of corn. The next day, Dave and Chito recognize the town blacksmith as the man in the barn and learn that he is Bert Conroy, an undercover Secret Service agent. Later, in his saloon, Cash hires Dirkin and his gang to steal ink and paper, which Simms needs to continue his operation, from the Willcox newspaper office. Overhearing their conversation, Dave and Chito offer to join the raid, and Dirkin reluctantly agrees to take them. Conroy also learns about the raid and, using carrier pigeons, sends a message to Willcox, requesting assistance. As the gang rides into Willcox, they are met by gunfire, and two outlaws are killed. Back in Badland, Dirkin accuses Dave and Chito of setting up the gang in Willcox, but Cash deduces that the only way the law could have heard about the raid was by carrier pigeon. When Cash then learns from Simms that Conroy was the only person in town to buy pigeon feed, he shoots him in cold blood. Later, at Cash's ranch, Chito and Dave discover newly stolen paper and ink in the barn and wait to see who will pick it up. After Simms carries off the goods, Dave and Chito break into his feed shop and find some phony money and a hidden printing press. They are unable to locate Simms's counterfeiting plates, however, and after they sneak out of the shop, Velvet, Chito's girl friend who has been hired by Cash to sing in his saloon, inadvertvently exposes Chito as a Texas Ranger. Chito and Dave are pursued on horseback by the gang, but escape and return to town, where they set Simms's shop on fire. As hoped, Simms rushes in to save his plates, and Dave grabs them at gunpoint. Dirkin's gang, however, has surrounded the shop, and the rangers become involved in a gunfight with them. With help from Velvet, Dave is finally able to send one of Conroy's pigeons to Willcox. Soon reinforcements arrive in time to rescue Dave and Chito and rout the gang. +

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.