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Classic Western 3-Pack: Branded a Coward/The Cactus Kid/The Gunman from Bodie [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Gunman from Bodie
Veteran action and western director Spencer G. Bennet certainly opens this the second of Monogram's eight "Rough Riders" oaters on a suspenseful and unusual note. On a dark and stormy night, a lone rider enters a secluded and seemingly vacant ranch house to find the slain bodies of the occupants and a hastily scribbled note bearing the legend: "Rustlers did this. I recognized Bill Cook with them. Take care of my baby. Mary Gibbs." Although the remainder of The Gunman from Bodie doesn't quite measure up to this suspenseful and evocative opening sequence, it is still a crackerjack little western, well-played by its trio of heroes, Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. The three "Rough Riders" are special agents assigned to look into a series of rustlings near the small town of Larabie. Working undercover as the notorious titular criminal, Jones discovers that the head of the rustlers is none other than supposedly-solid citizen Robert Frazer, who employs both the local sheriff (Max Waizmann and most of the hands at valuable Circle "B" Ranch. As the pretty owner of the ranch and her handsome foreman, Christine McIntyre and Dave "Tex" O'Brien(who sings "Little Tenderfoot"to the abandoned babe) supply the romantic interest, while Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton perform their assigned, and well-known, roles in their accustomed ways. But The Gunman from Bodie belongs squarely to Buck Jones, who combines strength with sentiment as the undercover agent discovering an abandoned baby in one of the more haunting opening sequences in B-Western history. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Cactus Kid
Produced by Bernard B. Ray and Harry S. Webb's small-scale Reliable Pictures, this low-budget Western starred former silent cowboy Jack Perrin as a cowboy searching for his missing partner. Jack, the Cactus Kid (Perrin), and Jimmie Kane (Fred Humes) have sold a catch of wild horses to a rancher. Returning with their earnings, Jimmie is killed by vicious Plug Perkins, an outlaw known as "Killer" (Charles "Slim" Whitaker), and his "half-breed" cohort, Cheyenne (Joe De La Cruz). Jack comes across Jimmie's belt-buckle and a piece of a harmonica known to belong to Cheyenne. Determined to find out what happened to his partner, the Cactus Kid tracks Plug and Cheyenne to their mountain hideout, where Cheyenne's broken harmonica proves that he is the killer. Prompted by his faithful horse, Starlight, Jack's fiancée Beth (Jayne Regan) arrives at the hideout. Dressed as the dead Jimmie, Beth manages to scare Cheyenne into a confession. Perrin also appeared in Reliable's "Bud'n Ben" series of Western short subjects. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Branded a Coward
In his first of 16 Westerns for independent producer A.W. Hackel, Johnny Mack Brown is Branded a Coward when instead of preventing a saloon hold-up, he is spotted cowering behind the bar. The reason for Johnny Hume's reticence is to be found in his background: 20 years earlier, little Johnny was orphaned when his parents' wagon was attacked by a gang of outlaws headed by the infamous "Cat" (Yakima Canutt). As the grown Johnny explains to stuttering sidekick Oscar (Syd Saylor), he has been "yellow ever since." Johnny's courage is tested once again when the two friends witness a stage hold-up. After chasing the outlaws away, Johnny and Oscar escort the stage into the town of Lawless, AZ, where female passenger Ethel Carson (Billie Seward) extols Johnny's prowess with a gun. To his embarrassment, Johnny is elected deputy marshal. Secrets from the past keep resurfacing and Johnny must constantly fight his own fears. In the end, the former coward proves his real worth in a final face-to-face struggle with the leader of the stage robbers (Robert Kortman), a villain patterning himself after the original Cat. During the fight, an unusual birthmark on the outlaw's arm reveals him to be Johnny's own brother Billy. Long thought killed in the massacre, Billy has instead been raised by the original, now deceased Cat. Unable to prevent his henchmen from attacking, Billy bravely stops a bullet meant for Johnny. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Buck Jones
    Buck Jones
  • Tim McCoy
    Tim McCoy
  • Raymond Hatton
    Raymond Hatton
  • Image coming soon
    Christine McIntyre
  • Image coming soon
    Lynton Brent
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.