Silver City Bonanza


1h 7m 1951

Brief Synopsis

Blind Pete Horne (Harry Lauter) knows the location of the Lost Spanish Silver Lode, but is knifed before he can tell anyone. His seeing eye dog, Duke, brings Rex Allen (Rex Allen) and Gabriel Horne (Buddy Ebsen)to Pete's lifeless body. They set out to find the killer and run into trouble near Silver City, Arizona, when they rescue Katie McIntosh (Mary Ellen Kay) from a gang that is chasing her buckboard. She asks Rex and Gabriel to stay and help her on her ranch. Following an attempt to drive off her cattle, Rex finds a clue to the strange secret behind Pete's murder - a tiny brass fitting which Rex discovers is part of a Navy diver's equipment. Tying this up with stories he has heard about "the ghost in armor" who rises from the lake on Katie's ranch at night, Rex comes to the conclusion that the lost lode is under the lake. Pete, who had been a Navy diver in the war, had recognized the sound of a pump as the crooks, led by Monk Monroe (Bill Kennedy), dived to search for the mine entrance.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 1, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

While riding along the trail, a blind man is killed by a knife-throwing stalker, who then flees, leaving behind the dead man's Seeing Eye dog. Nearby, Gabriel Horne, who is a friend of singing cowboy Rex Allen, receives a letter from his blind brother Pete, informing him about the discovery of a lost Spanish silverlode. Just then, Pete's dog Duke runs up and leads Rex and Gabe to Pete's dead body. Determined to find the murderer, Rex and Gabe go to Silver City, where Pete's letter was postmarked. An old-timer there remembers seeing Pete ride through town, as well as another man who was asking about him. As Rex and Gabe return to the road, a couple in a buckboard race past them, chased by three gunmen. Rex and Gabe stop the hoodlums from beating up the man in the wagon, and the gunmen leave. The man, Groggins, is so shaken that he tells the woman that he can no longer work for her, and heads for town on foot. The woman, Katie McIntosh, recognizes Duke, and says that Pete stayed with her a few days earlier. Hoping to hire Rex and Gabe, she invites them to dinner and promises to answer their questions about Pete. As they ride to her ranch, she explains that she has been running the ranch and rearing her orphaned sister and brother. After she refused to sell the ranch to a stranger, a series of unlucky incidents occurred--disappearing cattle, fires and harassed employees--but because she cannot prove they are related, the sheriff has not helped. She also mentions a ghost, but Rex and Gabe dismiss the notion. At the ranch, Gabe and Rex meet Katie's siblings, Susie and Jimmy. While Rex feeds the horses, thugs attack him and tell him to leave. Rex tells Gabe later that they will have to take off anyway, if they want to solve Pete's murder. That night, during Susie's birthday party, an injured man bursts in, saying that rustlers are driving Katie's cattle toward the nearby pass. Acting on Rex's suggestion, Katie's friends block the narrow part of the pass with a wagon. When the cattle are cornered, they frighten them with gunshots, causing cattle and rustlers to turn tail. Duke attacks one of the rustlers, but the man retaliates with a knife, leaving it behind as he escapes. Rex finds the dog uninjured, and when he realizes the knife matches Pete's murder weapon, he concludes that Katie's troubles are linked to Pete's murder. The next day Rex and Jimmy are attacked by gunmen while riding to town. Rex kills one, and on the dead man, finds a brass object imprinted with the words "US Navy." In town, Rex phones a Navy buddy in Denver and meets the local theater owner, who recognizes the knife as belonging to Monk Monroe, a circus knife thrower, whose publicity photograph he happens to have. That evening at the ranch, Rex shows the photo to Katie, who identifies Monroe as the stranger who tried to buy the ranch. Rex asks if the ranch has a pond, and is told the story of Haunted Lake, which was built by the original owner of the Spanish land grant, Don Rudolfo, whose ghost is rumored to wear a helmet and armor. Katie then tries to get Rex in a romantic mood, but he and Gabe depart abruptly for the lake, where they discover that the legendary ghost is really a diver. Rex guesses that Don Rudolfo dammed the lake to hide his silver mine, and that Pete, who was a Navy diver before he was blinded, recognized the sound of an air pump and was killed because he realized Monroe was diving for silver. Meanwhile, Jimmy is swimming in the lake and is caught by the diver, but Rex comes to the rescue. On shore, the arrival of Katie alerts the diver's helpers, and Gabe finds her just before a gunfight erupts. Rex and Gabe disarm all of the men except Monroe. Monroe tries to throw a knife at Rex, but Duke attacks Monroe's throwing arm, giving Rex time to overtake him. The next day, Rex explains how the brass object, which had been identified by his Navy friend as a diver's helmet fitting, led him to check out the lake. After Rex declares that he and Gabe must go to town to tie up loose ends, Katie makes it clear that she wants Rex to sing romantic songs to her upon his return.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 1, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Modern sources add Ted Mapes and Tom Steele to the cast. Hollywood Reporter production charts list Vicky Johnson in the cast, but her appearance has not been confirmed. Alix Ebsen is the daughter of Buddy Ebsen.