Rough Riding Ranger, 1935)

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Rex Lease in Rough Riding Ranger
 

Released in 1935: Rex Lease infiltrates a gang of silk smugglers who are using carrier pigeons to communicate.

Directed by Elmer Clifton

The Actors: Rex Lease (Ranger Corporal Daniels / the Tombstone Kid), Bobby Nelson (Bobby Francis), Janet Chandler (Dorothy White), Yakima Canutt (henchman Draw), Mabel Strickland (Mrs. Francis), David S. Horsley (henchman Slim), George Chesebro (henchman Bald), Robert Walker (Ram Hansen), Carl Mathews (Cinch Clemmons), Artie Ortego (henchman Duce), William Desmond (Major Wright), Allen Greer (Rurales Lieutenant Rodriguez), Johnny luther's Cowboy Band (musicians), Jack Evans (poker player), Jack Kirk (barfly, member Johnny Luther's Cowboy Band), Johnny Luther (musician, leader of Johnny Luther's Cowboy Band), Cactus Mack (bartender, member of Johnny Luther's Cowboy Band), Clyde McClary (storekeeper Perkins), Milburn Morante (the cukoo clock drunk), George Morrell (drunk who wants to fight).

 

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When I was eleven or twelve years old I had a school friend that had a bb-rifle, and one day when I was playing with him at his house, we decided to see if we could shoot, and/or catch a pigeon. We got into position in his upstairs bedroom window, which overlooked his back yard. From there we tried to shoot pigeons flying by and settling in the tree in the back yard, without success. Since our aim wasn't good enough to hit anything with the bb gun, we decided to try another approach. We probably saw this technique in a cartoon or old television show, and it really worked! We found an empty cardboard box, and a stick with a 'y' in it at one end. We tied a string to the bottom of the stick, and propped up one end of the cardboard box with the 'y' end of the stick. We then got some bread crumbs and put them under the box to tempt a pigeon to go under the box to get the bread. The string was long enough to reach the back porch where we hid behind the railing waiting for a pigeon to take the bait. We were really patient, mostly because we didn't have anything else to do with our time that afternoon, and sure enough, eventually a pigeon flew down and went under the box to get the bread. We pulled on the string, collapsing the box as the stick holding up one end of the box was pulled away. We had done it! We captured a wild animal in our simple trap! With glee we congratulated ourselves for a few minutes until reality set in. What would we do next? We had no idea. We crept up to the box and slowly started to lift it up . . . when the box was a few inches off of the ground, that pigeon flapped it's wings mightily and flew out from under the box and into the air. It scared us silly, but when our hearts stopped pounding we grinned at each other and celebrated in our victory over a wild animal . . . that poor, hungry pigeon.

This is the first, and probably the only cowboy movie that I will ever encounter that involves carrier pigeons taking secret messages from smugglers in Texas who are smuggling silk from Mexico. Yup, you heard me right . . . these big, bad cowboys are smuggling silk. While I find that to be pretty funny, these Texans along the border are deadly serious with their smuggling racket, and their headquarters is a border ranch with an oil well that is owned by two pretty ladies and a young boy who raises carrier pigeons. The boy is pretty sad because the pigeons that he sends away never return. Of course the bad guys are putting secret messages on the pigeons, and then shooting them down before they get back to the ranch so they can get the secret message before the pigeon gets back home to the little boy. Pop your white kernel popcorn, get the kiddies and enjoy a gun shooting, fist fighting adventure about silk smugglers from Texas, and the border patrol Ranger that brings them to justice.

Allen Greer and William DesmondBobby Nelson
Allen Greer and William DesmondBobby Nelson
Cactus MackDavid S. Horsely
Cactus MackDavid S. Horsley
Dorothy White and Carl MathewsGeorge Morrell
Dorothy White and Carl MathewsGeorge Morrell
Janet ChandlerJanet Chandler, 1935
Janet ChandlerJanet Chandler
Janet Chandler and Bobby NelsonJohnny Luther's Cowboy Band
Janet Chandler and Bobby NelsonJohnny Luther's Cowboy Band
Mabel StricklandMilburn Morante
Mabel StricklandMilburn Morante
Milburn Morante and Cactus MackRex Lease
Milburn Morante and Cactus MackRex Lease
Rex Lease and Carl MathewsRex Lease and Clyce McClary
Rex Lease and Carl MathewsRex Lease and Clyde McClary
Rex Lease and Janet ChandlerYakima Canutt
Rex Lease and Janet ChandlerYakima Canutt