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The Kangaroo Kid

The Kangaroo Kid(1951)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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In the 1880s, American detective Tex Kinnane is sent to New South Wales, Australia, on an assignment by the Remington Detective Agency to capture a crook named Spengler. Working undercover as the new stagecoach driver in Goldstar, Tex is soon given the nickname "Kangaroo Kid" after adopting an abandoned baby kangaroo. At the local bar and hotel where Tex rooms, another driver, Baldy Muldoon, introduces Tex to the bar's owner and his wife Ma Muldoon and to waitress Stella Gray. Stella is charmed by Tex's good looks and offers to take care of the kangaroo for him. Soon after, when ruffians Phil Romero and Robey challenge Tex to a shooting match, Tex outshoots them, causing a fistfight to ensue. After Tex triumphs, mounted policeman Sgt. Jim Penrose issues him a warning about his behavior. Later that evening, Jim visits his sweetheart Mary, who tells him that her father, miner Steve Corbett, has been acting suspiciously since Tex arrived and wants to shut down the mine and leave town. The next day, American lawyer Vincent Moller meets with Corbett, Romero and Robey to make a plan to rob the gold on the next stagecoach and frame Tex for the crime. When Corbett expresses some reluctance and leaves abruptly, Moller promises his other accomplices that Corbett will soon be killed. Tex is driving the stage with guard Pete, when Moller shoots Pete. Romero and Robey, now masked, stop the stage, knock out Tex and drag him into the bush. They then drive the coach to their hideout, unload the gold and leave the coach several miles from the site of the crime. Later, despite stagecoach owner Cummings assurances that Tex is beyond suspicion, Jim concludes Tex is guilty. Accompanied by aboriginal tracker Joe, Jim finds Tex lost in the bush near the scene of the crime and arrests him for highway robbery and murder. When the Muldoons hear of Tex's arrest, Baldy asks Moller to assist Tex with legal advice, unaware that Moller engineered the robbery. That night at the jail, Moller advises Tex to leave Australia when the opportunity arises. Soon after, someone throws the jail keys to Tex through his window, allowing him to escape. Suspecting Moller and Spengler might be the same man, Tex searches the lawyer's office, but Moller surprises him, forcing Tex to knock him out. When Moller comes to, he realizes that Tex has found incriminating evidence and orders Romero and Robey to kill both Tex and Corbett immediately. Back at the Corbett house, Tex tells Corbett that he knows about his previous crimes and accuses Corbett of stealing the gold to collect the insurance money on the loss. Just as Corbett is about to confess his connection to the robberies, Romero and Robey shoot and kill him from the window. Hearing the gunshots, Mary enters the room and, seeing her father dead, assumes Tex is the murderer. Soon after, Jim arrives at the Corbett's to arrest Tex for the crime, but Tex asks for twenty-four hours to reveal the actual murderers. Meanwhile, Moller has ordered Romero and Robey to rob the next stagecoach carrying gold. After Moller boards the stagecoach, Mary joins him to travel to Fort Jackson to arrange her father's funeral. When Tex and Jim find out that a stagecoach has left with Mary aboard, they race with a posse toward the stage. On the road, Romero and Robey shoot and kill the guard and wound Baldy, who falls from the coach. Once they stop the coach, Romero and Robey unload the gold, while Moller tells Mary that the robbers work for him, as did her late father. Tex, who has ridden ahead, finds Baldy, who dies in his arms. When Jim rides up, he assumes that Tex murdered Baldy until Tex explains that Moller is actually Spengler, a man wanted in the U.S. for robbery. Jim and his posse then join Tex to overtake the stagecoach. Romero and Robey are soon captured, but Moller and Marion are still in the stagecoach cabin while the vehicle races on, driven by one of Moller's henchmen. After Tex finally overtakes the driver, a fight ensues in which Tex triumphs and brings the coach to a halt. After a brief fistfight with Moller, Tex hands the criminal over to Jim, who plans to extradite him to the United States to stand trial for past crimes. Days later, while the town celebrates Mary and Jim's wedding, Tex promises Stella that he will return to Goldstar to continue their romance after he has filed his report in Sydney.