Oregon Trail Scouts


58m 1947

Brief Synopsis

Red Ryder (Allan Lane) battles an unscrupulous fur theif named Hunter (Roy Barcroft) for the right to trap beaver and otter on the land of Chief Running Fox (Frank Lackteen). Hunter attempts to ambush Ryder and his pal "Bear Trap" (Emmett Lynn) and when this fails, he kidnaps Little Beaver (Bobby Blake), grandson of the Chief, and kills the Judge (Earle Hodgins), with whom the boy had been staying. But the boy manages to escape. The Duchess (Martha Wentworth), Ryder's aunt, turns up and tries to persuade Ryder to return east with her. He discovers her and Little Beaver as stowaways in the supply train he is taking to the Indian camp. Hunter stages a fake Indian attack and attempts to recapture Little Beaver. The latter escapes and locates Running Fox who leads his warriors to the rescue. Hunter tries to escape by using Little Beaver as a shield, but he is knocked cold by the Duchess who sneaks up behind him. There is a joyful reunion between the old chief and his grandson, but Little Beaver elects to stay with Ryder and renounces his right to one day be chief in favor of Barking Squirrel (Billy Cummings).

Film Details

Release Date
May 20, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
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
58m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Near the western town of Wild Horse, fur trapper Red Ryder and his men return from an expedition along the Snake River, and Red meets with Bliss, the agent representing the Indians who control the local trapping rights. Later, an underhanded fur trapper named Bill Hunter tries to persuade the tribe's chief, Running Fox, to allow him to trap beaver in the river. The chief, however, delays his decision, saying he will first need to confer with Bliss. When Red and his Indian friend, Bear Trap, later visit the agent's cabin, they find a note warning them to leave immediately. Red ignores the note and promptly enters the cabin, where he is fired upon by Hunter and his men. A gang of Indian braves comes to Red's aid, and Red escapes. Red decides not to report the incident to the sheriff, knowing that it would worry his aunt, The Duchess. Later, at the Indian village, Red and his pal, Little Beaver, meet with Running Fox, who grants Red unlimited and exclusive rights to trap along the river. In town, Hunter, meanwhile, learns that a confidence man who had interferred with the gang's plot to hold the chief's infant grandson for ransom some years previously, has returned to Wild Horse. Aware that the confidence man is now posing as an apothecary, Hunter finds his medicine wagon and demands to know what he did with the infant. The confidence man refuses to answer, so Hunter kills him and stuffs his body inside the wagon. Moments later, Red begins fighting with Hunter, and the struggle causes the confidence man's corpse to slip from the wagon. Hunter escapes, and Red and Bliss notice later that Little Beaver is missing from the Indian camp. Red then leaves with the confidence man's wagon full of supplies, unaware that The Duchess and Little Beaver have stowed away inside it. Meanwhile, Hunter devises a plot to attack the shipment. That evening, after Red stops to pitch camp, he discovers Little Beaver and The Duchess. After scolding The Duchess for not showing more responsibility, Red leaves the camp to return Little Beaver to town. Along the way, they pass by Hunter's cabin, where his henchmen grab their guns. Red is dragged inside, but escapes after Little Beaver shoots Hunter with an arrow. Red and Little Beaver rush back to the camp to check on The Duchess, then discover that she has been kidnapped. When Little Beaver tells the Indian braves what has happened, they race to Red's aid once again. The braves stop the gang from escaping, and when Hunter grabs Little Beaver, The Duchess hits him over the head with a frying pan. Later, Red and Running Fox realize that Little Beaver is the infant who was kidnapped by the gang. They tell the chief the news, and he explains that Little Beaver's mother died some time ago. When the chief laments that he is too old to care for the boy, Red decides to adopt Little Beaver as his companion.

Film Details

Release Date
May 20, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
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
58m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Modern sources include Jack O'Shea and Chief Yowlachie in the cast. Although this film was a late entry in the "Red Ryder" series, the events depicted predate the first entry, and reveal how "Little Beaver" became Red Ryder's "moppet sidekick." For more information on the "Red Ryder" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry below for Tucson Raiders.