Thundering Trails (1943)

55-56 mins | Western | 25 January 1943

Director:

John English

Cinematographer:

Reggie Lanning

Production Designer:

Russell Kimball

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Prairie Pals and Frontier Days . The film included a written prologue that described the history of the Texas Rangers. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Johnny Carpenter , Lane Bradford, Cactus Mack, Eddie Parker , Al Taylor, Art Mix and Jack O'Shea. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and the entry for The Three Mesquiteers ( AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Prairie Pals and Frontier Days . The film included a written prologue that described the history of the Texas Rangers. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Johnny Carpenter , Lane Bradford, Cactus Mack, Eddie Parker , Al Taylor, Art Mix and Jack O'Shea. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and the entry for The Three Mesquiteers ( AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4617). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Dec 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Jan 1943.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 42
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1942.
---
Motion Picture Herald
13 Feb 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Jan 43
p. 1115.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Feb 43
p. 1159.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Frontier Days
Prairie Pals
Release Date:
25 January 1943
Production Date:
mid October--late October 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 January 1943
Copyright Number:
LP11841
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55-56
Length(in feet):
5,005
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
8948
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the town of Monroe, Texas, Troop M of the lawmaking Texas Rangers is facing termination due to government cutbacks. Just as the troop's leader, Captain Sam Brooke asks Judge Morgan for more money but is refused, Ben Walker arrives and asks Sam to protect one of his coaches carrying a shipment of gold. Ben becomes concerned when he realizes that Sam must guard the stage alone because the main Rangers, Sam's older son "Stony," "Tucson" Smith and "Lullaby" Joslin, who are known as The Three Mesquiteers, are busy. In the stage, Sam's younger son Johnny, a New Mexico policeman, accompanies Ben's daughter Edith across the border. Though he considers the Rangers pitifully underfunded and had planned to head back as soon as they reached the Texas border, he decides to ride along out of concern for Sam. The stage is ambushed and when Sam is shot in the back, Johnny shoots the attacker's trigger hand as he is fleeing. The Mesquiteers show up in time for the dying Sam to ask Stony to carry on his quest to maintain the Rangers. The Mesquiteers ask Johnny to join them, but Johnny refuses and stays to search for the man with the scarred trigger hand. After the Mesquiteers leave for Austin to request funds from the state commissioner, the judge asks Johnny to head up a local police force backed by the citizens. In Austin, the commissioner insists that the raggedy Rangers be closed, and tells them about Johnny's new position. Back at the Monroe police station, Ben informs the Mesquiteers that he has refused to pay extortion money demanded by the new police force, and asks for their protection. ... +


In the town of Monroe, Texas, Troop M of the lawmaking Texas Rangers is facing termination due to government cutbacks. Just as the troop's leader, Captain Sam Brooke asks Judge Morgan for more money but is refused, Ben Walker arrives and asks Sam to protect one of his coaches carrying a shipment of gold. Ben becomes concerned when he realizes that Sam must guard the stage alone because the main Rangers, Sam's older son "Stony," "Tucson" Smith and "Lullaby" Joslin, who are known as The Three Mesquiteers, are busy. In the stage, Sam's younger son Johnny, a New Mexico policeman, accompanies Ben's daughter Edith across the border. Though he considers the Rangers pitifully underfunded and had planned to head back as soon as they reached the Texas border, he decides to ride along out of concern for Sam. The stage is ambushed and when Sam is shot in the back, Johnny shoots the attacker's trigger hand as he is fleeing. The Mesquiteers show up in time for the dying Sam to ask Stony to carry on his quest to maintain the Rangers. The Mesquiteers ask Johnny to join them, but Johnny refuses and stays to search for the man with the scarred trigger hand. After the Mesquiteers leave for Austin to request funds from the state commissioner, the judge asks Johnny to head up a local police force backed by the citizens. In Austin, the commissioner insists that the raggedy Rangers be closed, and tells them about Johnny's new position. Back at the Monroe police station, Ben informs the Mesquiteers that he has refused to pay extortion money demanded by the new police force, and asks for their protection. While the crooked judge and his henchman, Cantrell, eavesdrop, the Mesquiteers try to convince Johnny that the police force is corrupt, but even after they stop a raid on Ben's ranch perpetrated by Cantrell, Johnny does not believe them. A few days later, Edith sees how worried Ben is about an approaching $30,000 shipment and asks Johnny to guard it, unaware that Cantrell is again eavesdropping and is going to arrange an ambush of the stage. Meanwhile, the Mesquiteers guard the stage for Ben, but when they do, Johnny arrives just late enough to miss the gang and only sees the Mesquiteers emptying the stage of its money. Cantrell, protecting himself, tells Johnny that the Mesquiteers attacked the stage. Johnny is confused and jails the men while Cantrell hires outlaw Mollison to kill Ben so he cannot clear the Mesquiteers' names. Upon hearing Ben is dead, the Mesquiteers escape from jail and capture Mollison in an abandoned mine. As Tucson and Stony confront Mollison, whose trigger hand is scarred, with evidence that he killed Sam, Johnny, backed by Cantrell and his men, ropes Lullaby and holds up the remaining two. Stony finally convinces Johnny of their innocence by showing him Mollison's scar. After Cantrell orders his men to tie up Johnny, Stony and Tucson, Lullaby escapes from his ropes and causes a distraction inside the mine. A big fistfight then ensues which the Mesquiteers win. Later, the commissioner names Stony as the captain of the reinstated Texas Rangers, and Stony arrests the judge as his first official act. +

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.