Trail to Laredo


1948

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 12, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Universal City--Providencia Ranch, California, United States

Synopsis

When The Durango Kid, the masked rider for justice, warns freight company owner Dan Parks to beware of boxes marked "ring bolts," Dan is leery. One day, Dan notices a crate of ring bolts among his shipment, and when he opens it, he finds stolen gold. After Dan alerts his partner, Walt Morgan, about the gold, Morgan, who is in league with saloon owner Fenton to smuggle the stolen gold out of the county, notifies Sheriff Kenney that Dan is involved in a smuggling ring. Informed by the sheriff of Morgan's accusations, Dan protests his innocence and flees. Later, Steve Ellison, who dons the mask of The Durango Kid to uphold law and order, comes to town, looking for his old friend Dan. Soon after, Smiley Burnette, a treasury agent working undercover with Steve, arrives in town, posing as a painter. In Fenton's saloon, Steve meets Classy, a friend of Dan's, and Dan's young son Ronnie. Classy invites Steve to dinner, and after they finish eating, Dan bursts into the house and claims that he is being framed by Morgan. Their conversation is interrupted by the sheriff, who has come to search the house. Dan takes cover, but when the sheriff finds a set of gold wrappers hidden behind the dresser, Dan appears, guns drawn. Hoping to lure Morgan into a false sense of security, Steve turns Dan over to the sheriff. Later, Steve, as The Durango Kid, visits Morgan at his office and demands the balance of the gold shipment. Fearing exposure by Morgan, Fenton arranges for his henchman, Blaze, to kill Morgan and frame Dan for the murder. That night, Blaze, his face masked, breaks into the jail, and frees Dan, taking him prisoner as soon as they leave the jailhouse. Smiley, who was visiting Dan at the time, notices that the masked man has a tattoo of a dagger emblazoned on his hand. Afterward, Morgan is found dead and a reward is issued for Dan, his assumed killer. One day, Blaze comes to town for supplies and Smiley, seeing the dagger tattoo on his hand, slips an open can of paint into the back of his wagon. After Blaze leaves, Smiley notifies the sheriff, who forms a posse to follow the trail of paint to the outlaws' hideout. Upon reaching the hideout, Blaze discovers the paint trail and sets up an ambush for the sheriff. As the outlaws shoot it out with the sheriff and his posse, The Durango Kid sneaks into their cabin, loads the gold into a wagon and gallops off in a hail of bullets. Setting a trap for Fenton, The Durango Kid inserts a notice in the local paper, asking Dan to meet him at "their place". The day the notice appears, Steve visits Fenton and suggests that The Durango Kid wants to meet Dan to sell the gold back to the outlaws. To force Dan into revealing the location of the meeting, Fenton kidnaps Ronnie. Hoping to apprehend Fenton's gang and clear Dan, Steve tells the sheriff the probable spot of the rendezvous. Steve's plans go awry, however, when, disguised as The Durango Kid, he learns that Fenton is holding Ronnie. Apprised of Ronnie's danger, The Durango Kid and the sheriff set another trap for Fenton. Sneaking into Fenton's office, The Durango Kid offers to exchange the gold for cash, tricking Fenton into revealing his interest in the gold and his involvement in Morgan's murder. Hidden in the closet, the sheriff overhears Fenton's confession and then steps out to arrest him. After revealing that he and Smiley are really treasury agents, Steve says farewell and rides off.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 12, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Universal City--Providencia Ranch, California, United States

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film opens with an offscreen narrator describing The Durango Kid as "a masked man who rode a white horse...the Durango Kid is no friend of evil doers, but ordinary folks are not sure what to think...who was the Durango Kid, an outlaw or champion of justice?" According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, portions of the film were shot at the Providencia Ranch, Universal City, CA. Modern sources add Ethan Laidlaw and Mira McKinney to the cast. For additional information about "The Durango Kid" series, please consult the Series Index and see entry above for The Return of the Durango Kid.