Cast & Crew
To stop a gang of outlaws who are breaking felons out of the Alkalai Springs jail, then killing them to collect rewards, Ranger Dave Wyatt is asked to impersonate fugitive Steve Carlson, his double. Dave is accompanied to Alkalai Springs by lawyer Tex Haines, whose friend, Dan Loper, has been falsely accused of a crime and is locked up in the town's jail. Before Tex arrives in town, Dan is released by the outlaws and then chased and murdered by them. After the outlaws--Sid Tolliver, Jim and Luke--collect the $1,000 reward for Dan, Dave's partner, Panhandle Perkins, arrives in town, posing as an itinerant dentist. Using the name Doc Perkins, Panhandle sets up business in the saloon and forms an instant partnership with the blustery Porky Smith. Later, as they near town, Dave hands Tex his Ranger badge, and the two men separate. As soon as Dave enters Alkalai Springs, he is "recognized" as Steve. Even Belle, the saloon's owner and Steve's fiancée, thinks he is Steve and warns him about the gang. After Dave is arrested by the marshal, Tex, who is still on the trail, sees Tolliver and his men riding furiously toward town and tries to get ahead of them. In his haste, Tex crashes into a tree, and while he is lying unconscious on the ground, the outlaws go through his pockets and find Dave's Ranger badge. Assuming that Tex is a Ranger and is after Steve, the gang makes plans to break Dave out of jail that night. When Tex finally arrives at the saloon, he hears Belle order her bartender, Eddie, to find Tex Haines, who she hopes will defend Steve. After overhearing Tex assure Belle that he is a "friend" of Tex Haines, Tolliver declares that Tex is a Ranger and starts a fight with the lawyer. The marshal then arrests Tex, but at the jailhouse, Tex convinces the lawman of Dave's real identity. Sure that the outlaws will be coming that night, Tex and the marshal make plans to trap the outlaws, while Belle slips a gun to Dave during a jailhouse visit. That night, just before the gang shows up in town, the real Steve arrives, demanding to see Belle. While Tex and the marshal are busy arresting Steve, the outlaws break Dave out of jail and take him to their hideout. When Dave insists on staying, Luke "accidentally" fires his rifle in his direction, but hits Jim instead, apparently killing him. Dave then draws Belle's gun on Tolliver and Luke, but Luke takes him by surprise, dousing the light in the process. In the darkness, the gun goes off, and later, a prostrate, motionless Dave is declared dead. Having followed the outlaws' trail from town, Tex then shows up at the hideout and, after inspecting Dave's body, announces that Luke and Tolliver can collect his $10,000 reward. After the marshal gives Tolliver a voucher that can be cashed at the express company, Dave sneaks out of jail and reveals himself to a startled Belle. Just then, Jim, who was only wounded, bursts into the saloon and announces to Luke and Tolliver that Dave is alive. When a gun-wielding Tex walks in, a brawl erupts and a bottle of Panhandle's laughing gas is broken, causing everyone in the saloon to fall down giggling. Tex and Dave overcome their mirth long enough to rout Jim, Tolliver and Luke, and then Dave, who earlier saw Tolliver hand Eddie the voucher, finds $6,000 in marked bills in his pocket and proves him to be the outlaws' leader. With the killers apprehended, Tex finally introduces himself to Belle and assures her that he will do his best to help Steve.
I. Stanford Jolley
Lyle E. Willey
The working title of this film was Wanted Men. Opening credits include the following written foreword: "Dedicated to the law officers of the Old West, who led the fight for law and order in the pioneer days of this country in 1880." Modern sources add Kermit Maynard, Dick Alexander and Dan White to the cast. For more information on the "Texas Rangers" series, for The Rangers Take Over and consult the Series Index.