Wrangler's Roost


57m 1941

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 4, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Range Busters, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Film Length
5,130ft (6 reels)

Synopsis

Black Bart, the infamous "polite" highway robber who never harms his victims, disappears after he is released from prison on parole. Ten years later, a robber with similar tactics is operating near Apache Butte, Arizona, and Wells Fargo express official Grover sends for three marshals known as the Range Busters--Crash Corrigan, Dusty King and Alibi Terhune. Grover tells the Range Busters that the new "Black Bart" robber uses a loaded gun and kills his victims. The Range Busters travel separately to Apache Butte, where Crash poses as a cardsharp, because Black Bart was well-known to be a card player. When Crash arrives in town, he makes the acquaintance of Molly Collins, but jealous Dusty, who has been in town for some time, tells the righteous Molly that Crash is a notorious gambler and ladies' man. Dusty accompanies Molly and her father Joe to town meeting called by The Deacon, who is helping Joe fight his alcoholism, while Crash heads for the local gambling house, El Dorado, which is owned by Miller and Brady. Miller is plotting with Brady to buy the Collins land and re-sell it at a profit to the railroad, which they know has plans to build a line through Apache Butte. When Crash uses some of Black Bart's old card tricks to try and attract the robber, Brady reports his observations to Miller. The next morning, the Range Busters perch in the hills to observe the stagecoach, but it is robbed elsewhere and they find only an empty strongbox. The robber, Miller, who has been posing as Black Bart, now has enough money to buy Joe's land, but Joe refuses to sell because he has donated the land to The Deacon for a new church. To Dusty's dismay, Molly develops a new appreciation of Crash after he donates some money to for the church, which he assures her was honestly earned. At a fundraising social, Dusty and Crash compete for Molly's affection, but the social is disrupted by Brady and some malcontents, who protest that a church in town will deprive them of their livelihood. To everyone's surprise, The Deacon breaks up the ensuing brawl with the help of a gun, and Crash becomes newly suspicious of him. Later that night, after Molly discovers that her father is out drinking and gambling at the saloon, Crash goes to retrieve him and finds that drunken Joe has just agreed to a $5,000 loan from Miller to play his next poker hand. Crash tries to break up the game, but instead, The Deacon offers to play Joe's hand. During the tense game, Crash notices that The Deacon uses the same ploys for which Black Bart was renowned, and The Deacon wins for Joe. Crash and Miller both suspect that The Deacon is the real Black Bart, and the Range Busters devise a plan in which to entrap him. The next day, Crash rides the stagecoach as a passenger, while Alibi and Dusty wait nearby. Alibi and Dusty are captured and taken hostage by Brady, and when the stage is attacked by Miller in disguise, Crash fires a warning shot and jumps out. Miller escapes and Crash finds his hat, but Miller shoots The Deacon, whom he encounters on the road. Crash comes to The Deacon's aid, and The Deacon admits that he is the retired Black Bart. Crash follows Miller's tracks to a cabin where his friends are being held, and as he rides up, Dusty and Alibi fight off Brady and Miller. Miller accidentally shoots Brady in the brawl, and Dusty shoots Miller in self-defense, bringing the robber's life and career to an end. Recovering from his gunshot wound, The Deacon admits his true identity to Molly and her father, and expects that the marshals will return him to serve the rest of his prison sentence. However, Crash informs The Deacon that they were after a stagecoach robber, whom they have caught, and as far as they are concerned, Black Bart is dead.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 4, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Range Busters, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Film Length
5,130ft (6 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The title card reads "Wrangler's Roost Another Adventure with the Range Busters." Opening credits also note that the film was "Photographed on the Ray Corrigan Ranch," which is located in Simi Valley, CA. The film opens with the following written foreword: "In the annals of Western outlaws, there was no more colorful, more elusive figure than Black Bart, who committed all his robberies with an unloaded rifle. With scores of stagecoach robberies to his credit, he successfully baffled a frantic express company by keeping his identity unknown, until a carelessly dropped handkerchief with a laundry mark led to his capture. Then, after a long term in prison he was paroled. He then disappeared and how he eventually finished his days is a mystery." Black Bart was the name used by outlaw Charles E. Bolton. For additional information on the outlaw, see entry above for the 1948 Universal film Black Bart.
       The Hollywood Reporter review lists an incorrect cast for this film. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Frank McCarroll, Carl Mathews, Hank Bell, Tex Palmer, Jim Corey, Al Haskell, Ray Jones, Horace B. Carpenter, Tex Cooper, Herman Hack and Chick Hannon. For further information on the "Range Busters" series, see the entry for The Range Busters in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3. 3620, and consult the Series Index.