The Cowboy and the Prizefighter


60m 1949

Brief Synopsis

In the fourth and last Red Ryder (following "Ride, Rider, Ride", "Roll, Thunder, Roll" and "The Fighting Redhead" in that order) of the Equity Pictures for Eagle-Lion distribution, filmed in Cinecolor, Red Ryder (Jim Bannon) takes Steve Stevenson (Don Haggerty), who has saved Red's life, to his ranch and gives him a job. Red's aunt, the Duchess (Marin Sais), knew Steve's father (Forrest Taylor), who supposedly committed suicide after losing his ranch betting on a prizefight. Steve refuses to believe that his father took his own life and the Duchess backs him up. On the way to town, Red, Steve, ranch hand Buckshot Blodgett (Emmett Lynn) and Red's young Indian pal, Little Beaver (Don Kay Reynolds as Little Brown Jug), break up an attempted stagecoach robbery. Mark Palmer (John Hart), the gambler who caused the death of Steve's father, is a passenger. In town, Steve meets Sue Evans (Karen Randle), who is going to work for saloon owner Bart Osborne (Marshall Reed). Palmer and Osborne are working together and want Ryder's ranch, and they develop a plan to have Red fight Palmer's pugilist, Bull Massoon (Lou Nova, former fighter who lost a heavyweight championship fight to Joe Louis in 1941, who has never lost in the "film" ring. Steve, a boxer in college, takes Red's place. Steve loses to Massoon, but before Red can determine whether it was a fair fight, a rider reports a robbery of the stage office. Red goes after the outlaws, and the gold is recovered. Red maneuvers a fight with Massoon, and beats him after Massoon drops a piece of lead pipe hidden in his hand. Palmer admits to having murdered Steve's father, and teve learns that Sue was forced to work for Osborne to pay off a debt owed by her brother.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Equity Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Eagle-Lion Films, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the comic strip "Red Ryder" created by Fred Harman (1938--1964), by special arrangement with Stephen Slesinger.

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Cinecolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,338ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Outside a western town, newcomer Steve Stevenson shoots a ranch hand to prevent him from killing rancher Red Ryder, who had just fired the hand from his Painted Valley ranch. As thanks, Red offers Steve the dead man's job on the ranch, which Red owns with his aunt, Duchess. At the ranch house, Steve explains that he is from the town of Indian Gap, where his gambling father, Miles, was murdered a few months earlier. Official reports called the death a suicide prompted by Miles' financial trouble, but Steve believes that crooked prizefight promoter Mark Palmer had a hand in Miles' death. Earlier, Palmer set up a fixed fight between the Stevenson ranch foreman and his man, Bull. The bets were covered by Charlie, the local gambling house proprietor. When Miles' man lost the fight, the townspeople, who lost considerable money, turned against him, and he was given thirty days to get off his ranch. Now Steve rides out with Red, his friend Buckskin Blodgett, and Little Beaver, an Indian boy, and come upon a stagecoach being robbed by a group of bandits. Buckskin and Red fight off the thieves, and the $5,000 gold payroll is saved. In town, Steve discovers that Palmer was on the stagecoach, and confronts him. Also on board was Sue Evans, who, through Charlie, has come to work at the Silver Dollar Saloon for owner Bart Osborne. Osborne and Palmer plan to force Red to fight Bull, then discredit him after Bull wins and the townspeople lose their bets. Steve decides to fight in Red's place. Buckskin, meanwhile, has eavesdropped on Osborne and Palmer plotting with Duke Samson, the leader of the bandits, to steal the payroll during the fight. Buckskin is caught and knocked out, however, and suffers a temporary case of amnesia. At the fight, Steve is knocked out after Bull punches him with a lead pipe in his hand. After the heist, a bank employee races to get the sheriff, and a posse brings in the bandits after a gunfight and chase in which Samson is killed. Later, in town, a man tells Red that Osborne has started a rumor that Red is a coward. In the saloon, after Palmer, Osborne and Bull split their profits, Red fights Bull and accuses him of being armed with a lead pipe when it flies out of Bull's hand and hits Buckskin in the head. With Buckskin, whose amnesia is cured by the blow, as a witness, Osborne and Palmer are arrested. Later, at Red's ranch house, Steve reports that Palmer admitted to killing Steve's father. It turns out that Sue was working for Osborne in order to repay a gambling debt owed by her brother, who is Charlie. Steve suggests that Sue quit her job and marry him, and Duchess threatens to hit Buckskin again so that he is not so ornery.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Equity Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Eagle-Lion Films, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the comic strip "Red Ryder" created by Fred Harman (1938--1964), by special arrangement with Stephen Slesinger.

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Cinecolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,338ft (7 reels)

Quotes

So that ornery varmint finally got what he had comin' to him. Did he talk?
- The Duchess
Well, he couldn't very well, seeing how he's dead.
- Red Ryder

Trivia

Notes

Modern sources add Steve Clark and Ray Jones to the cast. The Cowboy and the Prizefighter was the fourth and final entry in the "Red Ryder" series, and was the last film produced by the Equity Pictures. For additional information on the "Red Ryder" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for Tucson Raiders.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 1949

Released in United States Winter December 1949