The Great American Western, Vol. 40 [DVD]
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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Wild Horse
By many considered the best of Hoot Gibson's eight Westerns for Gower Gulch producer M.H. Hoffman, Wild Horse starred The Hooter as Jim Wright, a cowpoke hired to work on George Bunny's rodeo ranch. Gibson manages to capture "The Devil Horse," a magnificent steed which had been eluding the wranglers, but the horse is stolen by jealous ranch hand Edmund Cobb, who murders Gibson's buddy Skeeter Bill Robbins) along the way. Gibson is blamed for both but everything is worked out after the usual hard ridin' and shootin'. Gibson, who enjoyed near autonomy in his pictures for Hoffman's Allied Pictures Corp., filled the supporting cast with old friends such as Neal Hart, Fred Gilman, Pete Morrison and Cobb, all of whom had seen better days in the silent era. "The Devil Horse" was "played" by Mutt, a horse from Gibson's own stable. The result was a fast-paced B-Western marred only slightly for modern audiences by the typically demeaning "comedy" of African-American performer Stepin Fetchit. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Mystery of the Hooded Horseman
Based on the notorious Black Legion which had created quite a turmoil in Michigan a few years earlier, screenwriter Edmund Kelso and director Al Taylor crafted one of the better Tex Ritter musical Westerns. Filmed on location at Kernville, California, The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen was made almost serial-style, except that this time the villains wore the masks instead of the hero. A gang of hooded riders is terrorizing the local ranchers and even shoots kindly old Tom Wilson (Lafe McKee) in cold blood. Before he expires, Tom begs Tex Martin (Ritter) and his sidekick Stubby (Horace Murphy) to help his partner, Farley (Joseph W. Girard), save their mine. The supposed leader of the riders, Blackie (Charles King), gets Tex in hot water with the sheriff (Earl Dwire) but assisted by old Tom Wilson's pretty daughter Nancy (Iris Meredith), the singing cowboy nevertheless manages not only to bring Blackie to justice but also reveal the identity of the real brain behind the terror. The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen proved the first Ritter Western to open on Broadway in New York City and the sometimes overbearing critic from the New York Times, John T. McManus, was charmed enough to term it "refreshing." ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Robin Hood of the Pecos
Robin Hood of the Pecos was set immediately after the Civil War, when most of Texas was under the thumb of corrupt northern politicians. Alleviating things somewhat is the presence of a mysterious masked night rider, inclined to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Believe it or not, this latter-day Robin Hood is not played by star Roy Rogers, but by his grizzled sidekick Gabby Hayes! No matter: the plot is resolved when Rogers swings into action against crypto-fascistic local adjutant Cy Kendall. Repeating her "Calamity Jane" characterization from Young Bill Hickok, Sally Payne plays a gun-wielding hoyden, while the more sedate heroine is enacted by Marjorie Reynolds. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Phantom Thunderbolt
Rivalry between two towns for the honor of becoming county seat turns violent in this interesting Ken Maynard Western from low-budget Sono Art-World Wide. Although a notorious troublemaker, the Thunderbolt Kid (alias Ken Peters (Maynard)), is convinced to work on behalf of Coyote Gulch, a small community hoping to land the railroad franchise that will make it the county seat. Rival town Spotted Horse hires the notorious Matthews gang and soon it is all-out war between the communities. Ken, meanwhile, is conned by Matthews henchman One Shot Mallory (Bob Kortman) into attacking a stage supposedly carrying reinforcement. Unfortunately, the passenger, whom Ken publicly humiliates, is railroad president Charles Eaton (Wilfred Lucas). Much to the disgust of Red Matthews (William Gould) and his gang, Eaton awards the franchise to Coyote Gulch. After a climactic encounter between Red and Ken, Eaton persuades the latter to remain and witness the town prosper. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    George Bunny
  • Edmund Cobb
    Edmund Cobb
  • Stepin Fetchit
    Stepin Fetchit
  • Hoot Gibson
    Hoot Gibson
  • Image coming soon
    Neal Hart
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.