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Northwest Rangers

Northwest Rangers(1943)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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In Northwestern Canada, in the late nineteenth century, little Frank "Blackie" Marshall and James Kevin Gardiner, whose fathers are both in the North West Mounted Police, are playing in the woods when Indians attack their cabins and kill their families. Sgt. Duncan Frazier offers to rear the two boys as his own, and they agree. "Dad" Frazier is a good father and the boys are devoted to him, but the strong-willed Blackie always manages to get into trouble. After Blackie loses a valuable silver fox pelt by betting its value on one turn of a crooked roulette wheel at the Topaz, a gambling house owned by Martin Caswell, he and Dad quarrel and Blackie runs away. Many years later, Jim has realized his youthful ambition to be a Mountie, while Blackie has become a professional gambler. Blackie returns to town to visit Dad and Jim, but because it is a law that transients must be employed or leave town, Blackie goes to the Topaz and, with the aid of his advance man, "Slip" O'Marra, exposes Caswell's dishonesty and wins the casino. That same night, singer Jean Avery comes to town and gets a job at the Topaz, which Blackie promises will be an honest house. Some time later, Blackie and Jean have become romantically involved, but one evening, when Blackie asks Jim to keep Jean company, they fall in love. Jean goes to Blackie to ask him to marry her, but when he says that he isn't the marrying kind, she tells him that she loves Jim. Blackie wishes her well, and after she leaves, he finds a silk scarf and Mountie pin that Jim had loaned to her. Two weeks later, Fowler, a miner who was thrown out of the Topaz for cheating and warned by Blackie to pay what he owes, is confronted by Blackie at his mine. Fowler, who is a cohort of Caswell, has no intention of paying, and in a struggle, falls down the mine shaft, pulling the silk scarf, but not the Mountie pin, off Blackie's neck. After Fowler's body is discovered, a Mountie goes to Jim, who has just been promoted to sergeant, and shows him the torn scarf. Knowing that Jean left the scarf at the Topaz, Jim confronts Blackie, who denies being involved and produces an exact duplicate, with the pin attached. Although Jim believes Blackie, Caswell knows where Blackie got the duplicate scarf and blackmails him into playing roulette. If Caswell wins, he gets the Topaz, but if Blackie wins, Caswell will leave town. Because Blackie's luck has turned, he loses the Topaz. Then, as Blackie is leaving, Caswell tells him that he will blackmail Jim by threatening to tell the authorities that Jim let Blackie go in exchange for Jean. Knowing that he must save Jim, Blackie kills Caswell and runs away. Soon a Mountie goes to Jim's house to give him a warrant for Blackie's arrest, but Dad takes the warrant without Jim's knowledge, dons his old uniform and rides after Blackie. A short time later, Slip, who secretly witnessed the killing, goes to Jim and begs him to save Blackie. When Jim sees that Dad's uniform is gone, he knows what has happened and goes after them. Dad has meanwhile found Blackie and orders him to go back for trial. Blackie refuses and, as Jim arrives, slugs Dad and starts to ride off. Left with no other choice, Jim shoots Blackie in the back, then goes to him. As he dies, Blackie smiles and tells Jim that he is proud of him.