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Gangsters of the Frontier (September 22, 1944)

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Gangsters of the Frontier

Released on September 22, 1944: Range Riders Riddle Racketeering Rats in Red Rock - Tex Ritter helps a town rid itself of gold mine racketeers.

Directed by Elmer Clifton

The Actors: Tex Ritter (Tex Haines), Dave O'Brien (Dave Wyatt), Guy Wilkerson (Panhandle Perkins), Patti McCarty (Jane Deering), Harry Harvey (Mr. 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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Dad played football in high school for the Canfield, Ohio school team. In those days he rode a horse to high school and it stayed in the school stables during classes. After he graduated his Pap bought him a brand new Model T Ford. Dad and Mom got married in September of 1929, a couple of months before the Great Depression began. Wonderful timing, eh? Anyway, like me, he worked several jobs before he discovered that he wanted to be a preacher. He was a carpenter who worked on the tall Home Savings and Loan building in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, and told me that he would sit on a high iron beam and eat his lunch, dangling his legs in the air without even thinking about how high he was. During WWII he worked for a while in a machine shop and he showed me a special card that he had kept declaring that his job was vital to the war effort and he was to have special privileges of some sort. His two younger brothers served in the war, one fighting at the battle of the Bulge.

It is during these war years that this cowboy western was made, and it is unique for its handling of the women. Almost every western had the obligatory pretty woman 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 the picture Tex Ritter, one of our good guys, makes a patriotic speech about our free country, 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 these bad guys, but that the ladies wanted to chip in and join the fight. This was obviously a message for all of the ladies in the audience - kudos to the ones who had already taken jobs, and a plea for help aimed at the ladies who had not yet entered the work force. With so many men away fighting the war, along with the giant effort to build ships, tanks, planes and jeeps for the armed forces, every able-bodied woman was needed to join the work force, and for the first time in the history of our world women were needed and expected to work just like a man. 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. And they did it, and still do.

Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter and enjoy a cowboy movie made for the WWII audience of mostly women and children as our two gals help the rangers clean out the dastardly Kern brothers and their gangsters of the west.

Betty MilesCharles King
Betty MilesCharles King
Dave O'BrienGuy Wilkerson
Dave O'BrienGuy Wilkerson
Guy Wilkerson and Charles KingGuy Wilkerson, Dave O'Brien and Tex Ritter
Guy Wilkerson and Charles KingGuy Wilkerson, Dave O'Brien and Tex Ritter
Guy WilkersonHarry Harvey
Guy WilkersonHarry Harvey
I. Stanford JolleyMarshall Reed and Charles King
I. Stanford JolleyMarshall Reed and Charles King
Patti McCarty and Betty MilesPatti McCarty and Guy Wilkerson
Patti McCarty and Betty MilesBetty McCarty and Guy Wilkerson
Patti McCarty and Guy WilkersonTex Ritter
Betty McCarty and Guy WilkersonTex Ritter
Tex Ritter and Dave O'BrienTex Ritter, Dave O'Brien and Guy Wilkerson
Tex Ritter and Dave O'BrienTex Ritter, Dave O'Brien and Guy Wilkerson
Tex Ritter and Patti McCartyTex Ritter singing and playing his guitar
Tex Ritter and Patti McCartyTex Ritter