Riders of the Lone Star
Cast & Crew
During the mining boom days of the Old West, ranger Steve Mason, who is actually The Durango Kid, the famous masked enemy of all outlaws, is sent to Doris McCormick's Golden Rock Mine to investigate a series of holdups. No sooner do Steve and his singing, amateur magician pal, Smiley Burnette, arrive at the mine, than they are caught in a hail of gunfire from an outlaw gang. Before setting out to rid the territory of the bandits' terror, Steve meets Doris and also Morton's thirteen-year-old foster son Mike, who has been in the custody of Faro, the town drunk, ever since the boy's mother died ten years earlier. Mike longs to be reunited with his father someday and rejects the commonly held belief that his father is a notorious bandit. When Steve learns that a bandit gang has abducted Mike and begun an attack on a nearby mine, he changes into his Durango Kid outfit and engages the men in a gun battle. Steve rescues Mike and returns him to town, where Doris suggests that Smiley and his musician pals put on a show to keep the miners from leaving town before work resumes at the mine. Later, Steve suspects that Murdock, who has been using Morton's rifle, is actually Morton, but his hunch soon proves wrong. Smiley, meanwhile, uses his skills as a hypnotist to force Murdock into revealing his true identity, but he accidentally hypnotizes himself instead. Murdock, who is trying to locate and steal the $50,000 in loot from a stagecoach robbery that Morton hid many years earlier, suspects that Morton is really The Durango Kid. During a birthday celebration for Mike, Faro secretly hands the boy a slip of paper from his father that reveals where the money is hidden. Mike dashes away from the party, only to be apprehended by Murdock's men. The gunmen tie up Mike, force him to give them the directions to the cache and then leave him. Steve, in his Durango Kid disguise, learns the whereabouts of the hidden money from Faro, and sets out to rescue Mike. A bloody gun battle between The Durango Kid and Murdock's men ensues, during which Faro throws himself in front of Mike to avert a bullet aimed at the boy. It is only after Faro dies that Steve and the sheriff discover that Faro was really Morton. Though Steve keeps the truth about Faro a secret from Mike, he reassures the boy that his father died saving someone he loved.
George F. Kelley
Although an October 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item indicated that this was to be the last in Columbia's "The Durango Kid" series, the series continued beyond this film. For additional information on "The Durango Kid" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for The Return of the Durango Kid.