Saddle Mountain Roundup (August 29, 1941)
Released on August 29, 1941: (running time 58 minutes) The mysterious killer called The Raven is on the loose, and the Range Busters must prevent him from killing an old man and his Chinese helper.
Directed by S. Roy Luby
Written by William L. Nolte, Earle Snell and John Vlahos.
The Actors: Ray Corrigan (Crash Corrigan), John 'Dusty' King (Dusty King), Max Terhune (Alibi Terhune), Lita Conway (Nancy Henderson), Jack Mulhall (Dan Freeman), Willie Fung (Fang Way), John Elliott ('Magpie' Harper), George Chesebro (foreman Blackie Stone), Jack Holmes (sheriff), Steve Clark (Jack Henderson), Carl Mathews (henchman Bill), Harold Goodman (cousin Harold), Al Ferguson (henchman), Jack Hendricks (ranch hand Red), Tex Palmer (henchman), Rudy Sooter (guitar player).
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Did you ever know someone that didn't trust banks? When I was a kid, my one Uncle Dellas never married and lived with my Grandfather in a modest home in the country. Dellas had a good job at a local steel mill as a millwright, and never spent much money. One day after Grandpa had passed, Dellas had a heart attack and died while mowing the lawn. I can remember my dad and his other brother Uncle 'Tommy,' and my mom, and probably my sister Carol, going through the house looking for money. I guess Uncle Dellas didn't have much of a bank account, and they thought that there must be a substantial amount of money hidden somewhere in the house. I don't recall that any money was ever found, and if he had indeed stashed his extra cash somewhere in that house, it may still be there. In this movie, old man 'Magpie' doesn't trust banks, and has a considerable stash of money hidden somewhere in his ranch house. And someone wants to kill him.
Magpie Harper has sent for the Range Busters, three fellows that as a team fight crime and outlaws in the old west. He wants the Range Busters to take his cattle to market and bring back the money to add to his small fortune before he dies. But someone is trying to kill him before nature takes him. His Chinese cook and housekeeper brings in a plate of dinner, but Magpie is too worried about who may be trying to kill him that he has lost his appetite. He grumbles a bit and puts his dinner plate on the floor and tells his squawking black raven to help himself to it, as he has lost his appetite. After eating a bit of the dinner the raven drops over dead. Now Magpie knows that he is targeted for murder. He wishes that the Range Busters were back from taking his cattle to market, because they might save him from whoever wants him dead. He starts to write a note to the Range Busters explaining where he has hidden his money, but before he can finish, the door opens, Magpie looks up with surprise, a gun fires and Magpie is dead.
We have a movie full of suspects, from the Chinese cook to the foreman Blackie, to the man who wants to partner with Magpie and take over his ranch, and because Magpie dies before he can tell anyone where his money is hidden, it may never be found! Can the Range Busters solve this one? Will Alibi and his wooden dummy scare the beejeebers out of the man holding him hostage? Will the other two Range Busters fight it out over the attention of Nancy Henderson, pretty young daughter of Magpie's new partner? Will the lawyer reading Magpie's will bring more surprises than a bowl full of hot buttered white kernel popcorn? Did the butler do it? Will Alibi's wooden dummy get his hair back? It will take you about 58 minutes to find out!