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Crashing Thru

Crashing Thru(1949)

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As a stagecoach carrying a shipment of gold bullion nears the town of Masonville, one of the passengers, singer Stella Drew, waves her handkerchief out the window, signaling a band of outlaws led by Jarvis to attack. After seizing the gold, Jarvis shoots a passenger he believes to be Ranger Tim Raymond. Before dying, Raymond confides to Whip Wilson, the driver of the stage, that he has been summoned by the townsfolk of Masonville to institute law and order. As his last act, Raymond turns over his credentials to Whip. Upon reaching town, Stella angrily confronts her lover, Cliff Devin, the owner of the local saloon and the man who engineered the robbery, about the senseless killing. Mr. Winkle, affectionately known as "Winks," another passenger on the coach, comes into conflict with Devin when he goes to claim his newly purchased blacksmith shop and discovers that Devin's men have taken it over as a stable. When Winks goes to the saloon to demand the return of his property, Devin's gang begins to taunt him until Whip appears, identifies himself as Ranger Tim Raymond and lashes out at the thugs with this bullwhip. After Whip subdues Winks's tormentors, John Mason, the head of the local mine owners' association and the covert leader of the outlaws, welcomes Whip to town. Upon leaving the saloon, Whip confides to Winks that he is actually a Wells Fargo agent sent to investigate the rash of stagecoach robberies that have been plaguing the area. Offering to help Whip with his mission, Winks volunteers that he saw Stella signal the robbers. Later, Mason offers Stella a larger share of the proceeds if she keeps Whip distracted. While out riding with Whip one day, Stella, trying to prevent violence, advises him to leave town, but he ignores her warning. Whip's presence wins the miners' confidence, and soon they decide to ship another load of gold. On the day that Mason instructs Jarvis and Devin to kill Whip, Stella, sensing danger, begs Devin to withdraw from the gang before it is too late. Soon after, Janet Raymond, the slain ranger's sister, unexpectedly arrives in town. Warned by Winks of Janet's presence, Whip slips out of his office before Janet can identify him as an impostor. Following Mason's orders, Jarvis stalks Whip and overhears him greet Janet as her brother's friend. Jarvis rushes back to report the news to Mason, who, realizing that Whip must be a Wells Fargo agent, decides to frame him for Raymond's murder. Accompanied by Janet, Mason proceeds to Whip's office and there exposes him as an impostor and accuses him of killing Raymond. Escaping out the back door, Whip flees with Winks and after sidetracking the outlaws, rides back to town to tell Janet how her brother was really murdered. After a citizens' posse rides out of town in search of Whip, Whip enters the saloon and posts a notice of his intent to arrest Raymond's killer at six o'clock that night. Notified by the bartender of Whip's challenge, Jarvis rides back to town to await his arrival. At the appointed hour, a man's shadow crosses the window and Jarvis fires, killing Devin, who was just about to enter the saloon. When Whip slips in through a side window, Jarvis takes Stella hostage and then shoots her when she starts hurling murderous accusations at him. After Jarvis flees, the dying Stella tells Whip that Mason is the leader of the gang and directs Whip to the gang's hideout. Whip arrives at the hideout just as Jarvis commandeers Mason's gold-laden wagon and gallops off. After a frantic pursuit, Whip shoots Mason and then apprehends Jarvis and the gold. His mission accomplished, Whip promises Janet that he will return to Masonville as soon as he reports back to headquarters.