Gangsters of the Frontier (September 22, 1944)
Released on September 22, 1944: (running time 54 minutes) Range Riders Riddle Racketeering Rats in Red Rock - Tex Ritter helps a town rid itself of gold mine racketeers.
Produced by Arthur Alexander
Directed by Elmer Clifton
Written by Elmer Clifton
The Actors: Tex Ritter (Tex Haines, Texas Ranger), Dave O'Brien (Dave Wyatt, Texas Ranger), Guy Wilkerson (Panhandle Perkins), Patti McCarty (Jane Deering), Harry Harvey (Frank Merritt), Betty Miles (Mrs. Merritt), I. Stanford Jolley (Bart Kern), Marshall Reed (Rad Kern), Charles King (Pete Haner), Clarke Stevens (Jim Shade), Robert Barron (henchman fighting with Dave), Victor Cox (henchman), Jack Evans (townsman), Herman Hack (henchman), Henry Hall (Rogers), Jack Hendricks (henchman), Lew Morphy (henchman), George Morrell (townsman in the mayor's office), Wally West (barn henchman and wagon driver), Dan White (townsman in mayor's office).
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Women of Red Rock to the Rescue
About the time this movie was filmed, Bill was a young teenager that was too young to join the fight during World War Two, but he was old enough to get a job. It has been my Saturday Morning custom for many years to walk inside the nearby Eastwood Mall for exercise, and for many years I walked with Bill. We would meet at 7:30am when the doors opened, walk around the mall two or three times, and then head to a fast food joint for a bite of breakfast. As I write this Bill is approaching ninety years old and we no longer walk together on Saturday mornings, because he is now confined to a wheelchair and living alone. I still walk every Saturday morning, and then take a big breakfast over to Bill’s place to enjoy his company. Bill often shares stories about the days before I was born, and one of his favorites is about his first job as a youngster.
World War Two was raging in Europe and the Pacific, and most of the able-bodied men were away from their jobs fighting in the war. Bill lived near the Packard car factory in Warren, Ohio, and he walked in one morning looking for work, and was hired immediately. He discovered that he was one of the only males working in the factory, next to the girlfriends and wives of the fighting men.
Bill claims that they were working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, and on top of that, a group of girls would flip a coin at the end of every shift to see who would take young Bill out to dinner and dancing. After a couple of months Bill quit that job. He said that while it was an exciting way for a young boy to come-of-age, he was so tired all the time that he just wanted more leisure time. He told me that during those days a person could walk into almost any business and start work immediately, so he got a job in a manufacturing plant that only worked ten hours a day, six days a week, and he worked there for many years.
This cowboy movie, filmed during those war years, is unique for its handling of the women. Almost every western had the obligatory pretty girl to catch the attention of the hero, but they usually were portrayed as 'damsels in distress' that our hero would courageously save from the bad guys. Early on in this story, Tex Ritter, one of our good guys, makes a patriotic speech about fighting for freedom, and before the end of the scene our two ladies, one who had just been made a widow, declare that not only the men should fight, but the ladies should wear guns and fight for freedom.
This was probably a message for all of the ladies in the movie audience - kudos to the ones who had already taken jobs for the war effort, and a plea for help aimed at the ladies who had not yet entered the work force. No more ‘barefoot and pregnant’ expectations for women - now they must do it all - not only bear the children and care for the home, but work a job just like their men, . . . So they did it, and still do.
Our two ladies will help Tex Ritter and Dave O’Brien fight the dastardly Kern brothers, who escaped from prison and once again are terrorizing the frontier town of Red Rock. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Dave O'Brien and Tex Ritter
Guy Wilkerson and Charles King
Guy Wilkerson, Dave O'Brien and Tex Ritter
I. Stanford Jolley
Marshall Reed and Charles King
Patti McCarty and Betty Miles
Patti McCarty and Guy Wilkerson
Patti McCarty and Guy Wilkerson
Tex Ritter and Dave O'Brien
Tex Ritter and Patti McCarty