The Man from the Rio Grande
Cast & Crew
Don "red" Barry
After the Civil War, wandering cowboy Lee Grant, who refers to himself as "The Man from the Rio Grande," and his pal, Jimpson Simpson, are riding through the Santa Rita Valley when they see a group of men attack some surveyors. Lee and Jimpson chase away the aggressors, and the head surveyor explains that the men work for wealthy rancher John King, who has so much control over the nearby town that he is known as King John. The surveyors work for the railroad, which wants to build a spur line through the area and has offered King a huge sum for right-of-way across his ranch. King refused the offer, and even though the railroad obtained a court injunction permitting them right-of-way, King has ordered his men to fight them. Curious about the situation, Lee and Jimpson go to town, where they meet King in the saloon. King tries to arrange for Lee to win at the crooked roulette wheel, but Lee is forced to display his deadly accuracy with a gun when he exposes the fix and the croupier draws on him. Impressed, King offers Lee a job as a gunslinger, which Lee declines, stating that he desires to buy a ranch and settle down. The next day, Lee rides to King's ranch to return the money he won at the roulette wheel and meets King's niece Doris. She confides in Lee that after her father's death from a hunting accident, she inherited the ranch along with her older half-brother, Henry King, Jr., whom she has never met and who is rumored to be dead, and Twinkle Watts, a child ice-skating star who is the grandchild of an old friend of Henry King, Sr. King is the executor of the estate and so has control of the ranch. Unknown to Doris, King murdered her father for his fortune and intends to kill both her and Twinkle, then sell the valuable right-of-way to the railroad. Doris's boyfriend, newspaper publisher Tom Traynor, has long suspected King of wrongdoing and has written numerous editorials about his conflicts with the railroad. Furious about Tom's latest editorial, King orders his foreman, Ace Holden, "to take care" of Tom, but Lee overhears their plans and, along with Jimpson, thwarts the attack. The next day, Doris leaves for New York City, where she is to meet Twinkle, then escort her to Santa Rita. While Doris is gone, Lee and Jimpson search the office of King's lawyer, Joseph "Two-Way" Hanlon, and learn that King is about to file an application declaring himself sole heir of the ranch. Fearing that King intends to kill Doris and Twinkle, Lee and Jimpson meet their stage, which is indeed being attacked by Ace and his men. The rescue attempt proves successful, and Doris and Twinkle are unharmed. King is enraged when he learns of the situation and orders Ace to kill Lee or else. While Ace is engaging Lee in a gun battle at the saloon, King shoots and kills Hanlon when Hanlon admits that the application is missing. After Lee prevails against Ace, Tom persuades him to admit that he is Henry King, Jr., and that he has come to town to investigate his father's death. With Doris and Twinkle's help, Lee disguises himself as his father and goes to the ranch to "haunt" King, who confesses to the murder. Soon after, King is convicted of his crimes, and Lee, Jimpson and Doris throw a birthday party for Twinkle.
Don "red" Barry
This picture marked the screen debut of young actress Twinkle Watts, who was a professional ice skater from early childhood. Modern sources include Kenneth Terrell, Robert Homans and Jack O'Shea in the cast.