Brand of the Devil


57m 1944

Brief Synopsis

Jolley is the leader of the Devil's Brand gang of rustlers. When Molly Dawson sends for the Texas Rangers, Tex, Jim, and Panhandle arrive pretending not to know each other. But eventually their identities become known and they are captured by the gang.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 30, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Alexander-Stern Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,482ft

Synopsis

After rancher Molly Dawson bursts into the Willow Springs saloon and accuses Duke Cutter of stealing her white stallion, Jack Varno, the saloon owner dismisses her accusation, and Molly, infuriated, begins to hurl liquor bottles at the bar. When Varno's men try to restrain Molly, bystanders Jim Steele and Tex Wyatt come to her rescue and the three gallop off into the night. After they exit, Varno finds a card with the mark of the devil's brand printed upon it. Varno, who is the covert head of a band of rustlers operating in the territory, is perturbed by the appearance of the card because the devil's brand is the symbol of his gang. After escorting Molly back to her ranch, Tex and Jim meet Panhandle Perkins, who is posing as a salesman named "Branding Iron" McGee, on the trail outside of town. The three are really Texas Rangers, working undercover to apprehend the Devil's Brand gang and recover the cattle they stole from Cedar Canyon. The next day, Molly discovers her stolen horse in the town's livery stable, mounts the steed and gallops out of town. Having been accepted as a member of the gang, Panhandle joins Varno and the others in their pursuit of Molly, and Tex and Jim follow. After catching up to Molly, Varno pulls her off her horse. When she claims ownership of the steed, Jim and Tex examine the brand, and finding that is has been obscured, allow Varno to reclaim the horse. In the dispute, Panhandle takes a swing at Tex and passes a message to him, informing the ranger that Varno has ordered some special brands. In town, Henry Wilburn, one Varno's thugs, unsaddles the stallion, and discovers a card with the devil's brand. Later, Tex, Jim and Panhandle are riding in the hills when they spot rancher Jeff Palin spying on a woman branding cattle in the canyon below. Believing the woman to be Molly, Palin tells the rangers that Molly has been stealing his cattle. In the canyon, the rangers discover that the woman is actually Wilburn disguised as Molly. After taking Wilburn prisoner, Panhandle conceals him in the back of a wagon while Jim and Tex ride to Molly's ranch. Soon after, Palin arrives, accompanied by the sheriff, to accuse Molly of stealing his cattle. When Tex and Jim testify that they are not sure if the woman they saw was Molly, the sheriff arrests her. That night, Varno convenes his gang, pays Panhandle for his brands and then dismisses him. After Panhandle departs, Varno discloses that he suspects Tex and Jim are rangers and decrees that Molly must die. When his men balk at killing a woman, Varno decides to complete the job himself. At the jailhouse window, Varno shoots into Molly's cell and then disappears. Alerted by the sound of gunshots, the sheriff hurries to the cell and is later joined by Varno. When they turn over the body, they discover that it is Wilburn, dressed as a woman, and find the card with the brand of the devil beside it. The sheriff then explains that the rangers instructed him to lock Wilburn in the cell and release Molly. Suspecting that Panhandle is a ranger, too, Varno sets a trap for the lawmen. Aware that Panhandle is eavesdropping, Varno instructs his men to round up the stolen cattle and then meet at a cabin in the cottonwoods. After Panhandle relates the plans to Tex and Jim, Tex dispatches him to guard Molly, then he and Jim ride to the cabin. At the cabin, meanwhile, Varno directs Bucko Lynn, one of his thugs, to kill the rangers while he and the others eliminate Molly. Spotting Varno and his gang approaching the ranch, Varno sends Molly for the sheriff while he decoys the outlaws. Upon arriving at the cabin, Tex and Jim are greeted by an armed Bucko. Bucko ties up the lawmen, and soon after, Varno arrives with Panhandle, whom he has captured. After instructing Bucko to dispose of the rangers, Varno leaves to round up the stolen herd at Painted Canyon. As Bucko ponders how to eliminate the lawmen, Panhandle and Tex untie their ropes, overpower Bucko, free Jim and head out of Painted Canyon. There, the rangers decide to thwart the rustlers by stampeding the cattle. When Molly arrives with the sheriff, Varno hurries back to town to empty his safe and flee the territory. The rangers put the sheriff in charge of the stampeding herd, then follow Varno to town. After extracting the cash from the safe, Varno loads it with explosives, planning to blow up the rangers when they open it. Soon after, the lawmen arrive at the saloon to arrest Varno. When a fistfight ensues, one of the gang falls against the handle of the safe, causing it to open and explode. Soon after, Molly and the sheriff enter and apprehend Varno and his gang.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 30, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Alexander-Stern Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,482ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film opens with the following written dedication: "Dedicated to the law officers of the Old West, who led the fight for law and order in the pioneer days of the country in 1880." Modern sources add Hank Bell, Bob Cason and Rose Plumer to the cast. For additional information on the "Texas Rangers" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Rangers Take Over.