South of Death Valley


54m 1949

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 18, 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
54m

Synopsis

In Nugget City, when ranchers find dying cattle near the river, they blame the deaths on polluted runoff from the neighboring mines. While investigating the death of his brother-in-law, miner John Carr, Steve Downey is shot at by Molly Tavish, who warns him not to reopen the mine. Later, a shootout erupts between the ranchers and the miners. Disguised as masked crime fighter The Durango Kid, Steve stops the fight and asks Molly for an explanation. She advises him to talk to Marshal Smiley Burnette in Nugget City. Smiley details the origins of the war between the miners and the ranchers and tells Steve that many people believe that Molly's brother Tommy killed Carr. Steve then calls on Sam Ashton, who staked Carr when he opened his mine and whose own mine is the only one that, because it does not drain into the river, is still in operation. When Steve returns to the Carr mine, Ashton orders his men to kill him and throw the blame on the Tavishes. Steve eludes the killers, but loses his hat during his escape. One of Ashton's men then kills Tommy and drops Steve's hat nearby, so that it will appear that Steve has avenged Carr's death. Not realizing what has occurred, Steve brings a sample of ore into town to be tested, but when he overhears a suspicious conversation between Ashton and Mullen, the assayer, he substitutes a previously tested sample for the one from the mine. Molly's other brother Scotty then tries to kill Steve, whom he believes to be Tommy's killer. Hearing Scotty's story, Smiley is obligated to place Steve in jail. When Ashton tells Steve that the ore sample was no good, Steve's suspicions are confirmed. He escapes from jail and searches Mullen's office, where he finds a receipt for a quantity of strychnine. In the meantime, unaware that Steve has escaped, someone tries to kill him in jail, and, hoping to lure the killers into the open, Steve pretends that he is dead. Stirred up by Ashton, a posse forms to arrest Scotty for Steve's murder. During the ensuing gunfight, Steve, disguised as The Durango Kid, helps Scotty and Molly escape. Steve then forces Mullen to admit that Ashton and his men poisoned the river. Again disguised as The Durango Kid, Steve follows Ashton's men to a secret entrance to Carr's mine and witnesses them loading wagons with gold. Later, he captures Ashton and his men and explains that they poisoned the river in order to secretly gain access to the other mines. Now that there is peace, Steve leaves town.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 18, 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
54m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

For more information on "The Durango Kid" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for The Return of the Durango Kid.