Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Rustlers (1949)

RUSTLERS (1949) is a strong entry in the series of postwar Westerns made by Tim Holt and Richard Martin for RKO.

This time around Tim plays Dick McBride ("Ricardo" to Chito); Dick and Chito are nearly broke when they ride into Bisbee, Arizona. They hope to find work at a ranch owned by Frank Abbott (Addison Richards), but Abbott is having trouble staying in business due to cattle rustlers.

Steve Brodie and Frank Fenton play members of the cattle rustling gang, which is headed by the sheriff (Harry Shannon)!

Chito unexpectedly wins a large sum of money which he and Dick want to invest in Abbott's ranch, but a series of circumstances leads Abbott to believe that Dick and Chito are the rustlers.

The supporting cast includes a young Martha Hyer in an early role as the rancher's tomboy daughter. She also appeared with Holt in THUNDER MOUNTAIN (1947) and GUN SMUGGLERS (1948).

Lois Andrews has an even bigger role than Hyer, playing Trixie, the saloon gal who's sweet on Chito. It's an especially good part and Andrews sparkles, making the most of it.

Some interesting trivia is that at the time the movie was made, Andrews was married to one of the movie's villains, Steve Brodie!

This 61-minute film was directed by the reliable Lesley Selander and filmed by J. Roy Hunt.

This is a very good-looking movie, with pine trees aplenty. According to David Rothel's book on Tim Holt, it was filmed at the Garner Ranch in Idyllwild, California.

RUSTLERS is available on DVD in the Warner Archive's Tim Holt Western Classics Collection Vol. 2.


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