Tim McCoy Double Feature Collection, Vol. 1 [5 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Synopsis

Straight Shooter
Long before the character was appropriated by Buster Crabbe, "Lightning" Bill Carson was played by Tim McCoy in a series of low-budget westerns produced by Sam Katzman. One of the last of these was Straight Shooter, filmed in the late 1930s but unreleased until 1940. This time, Carson (McCoy) goes after a ruthless outlaw gang which has stolen government bonds. Though the odds are against him, Carson gets his man-er, men. Slowly the pace of Straight Shooter to walk is the questionable comedy relief of Ben "Magpie" Corbett. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Outlaw Deputy
Based on "The King of Cactusville", a 1923 short story by Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro, The Outlaw Deputy was the first of ten Tim McCoy Westerns from Poverty Row company Puritan Pictures. When McCoy's friend, Charlie Adams (Si Jenks), is killed by Bill Sanderson, the former cowboy and his gang turn to robbing stage coaches and rustling cattle, but take only what belongs to Sanderson. In the town of Godland, Adams' son, Chuck (George Offerman Jr.), is framed in a payroll robbery by Cash (Bud Osborne), one of Tim's former associates. Tim relieves Cash of the ill-gotten gains and is elected deputy sheriff by a grateful Rutledge (Joseph W. Girard), the payroll boss. Chuck, however, was killed during the robbery by Howger (Hooper Atchley), whose gang has been terrorizing the town. Despite the advice of lovely Joice Rutledge (Nora Lane), Tim is determined to bring Howger to justice. At a church social, Howger, who has learned about Tim's past from Cash, turns the citizenry against the new deputy, who lands in jail. With the help of Joice, Tim makes a daring escape and manages to collect enough evidence to convict Howger for the murder of Chuck. Having outdrawn the villain in a climactic gun duel and now elected permanent sheriff, Tim playfully arrests Joice, sentencing her to a lifetime as his wife. McCoy was paid 4,000 dollars for each of his ten Westerns for Puritan, which were budgeted at between 10,000 and 12,000 dollars each. Above-average for an independent production, The Outlaw Deputy brought in a domestic gross of 80,000 dollars. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Texas Wildcats
In this exciting western, a mysterious masked hero helps tired settlers protect their lands from the wicked land-grabbers. One of the grabbers attempts to kill the crusader by offering a substantial reward for his capture. He does this so he can grab the land of one homesteader who is unknowingly sitting upon a mother lode of gold. To access the land, he tries to convince his own son to marry the settler's daughter. Fortunately the hero intervenes and the villain fails all-around. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Border Caballero
Dick Tracy -- or rather his future portrayer Ralph Byrd -- found himself in the unfamiliar surroundings of the range in this Tim McCoy Western from low-budget company Puritan Pictures. Byrd played Tex Weaver, a G-man going undercover as a bank robber in order to flush out gang leader Buff Brayden (Ted Adams). Assisted by former agent Tim Ross (McCoy) and kindhearted gangster's moll Goldie Harris (Lois January), Tex learns of a forthcoming raid on the Bordertown bank. Unfortunately, while appearing with Tim's medicine show, Tex is killed by a bullet fired offstage simultaneously with Tim's. Accused of murder, Tim makes his escape, rejoins the Justice Department, and manages to not only foil the bank heist but also gather enough evidence to convict both Brayden and his boss, bank examiner Willey Taggart (J. Frank Glendon). McCoy, who had joined Puritan in 1935 after leaving Columbia Pictures, would make ten Westerns for the little company, all of them above-average oaters considering their limited budgets of only 10,000 dollars a picture. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Outlaws' Paradise
Ticket buyers got two Tim McCoys for the price of one with this low-budget Western, one of McCoy's eight Lightning Bill Carson oaters for producer Sam Katzman's Victory Pictures. This time government agent "Lightning Bill" impersonates a look-alike bandit about to be released from jail. But before Carson completely gained the confidence of chief henchman Slim Marsh (Ted Adams) and saloon singer Jessie Treadwell (Joan Barclay), the real outlaw, Trigger Mallory (also McCoy), shows up. With the assistance of his usual sidekick, Magpie McGillicuddy (Ben Corbett), Carson is able to sidestep a well-laid trap and send Mallory straight back to the hoosegow. Rather unusually for a B-Western leading lady, Joan Barclay, who sings "A Rainbow Is Riding the Range" by Johnny Lange and Lew Porter, plays the bandit's girlfriend and remains quite unrepentant until the final reel. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Code of the Cactus
Tim McCoy once again played Department of Justice agent "Lightning Bill" Carson in Code of the Cactus, and once again he infiltrates the outlaws by masquerading as a foreigner, this time a Mexican named Miguel. A gang of very modern rustlers using high-powered trucks and machine guns is terrorizing the local ranchers. Disguised as Miguel, Lightning Bill quickly learns that the rustlers are lead by Blackton (Forrest Taylor), a nasty meatpacking contractor, and with assistance from usual sidekick Magpie (Ben Corbett) and a new acquaintance, range detective Bob Swane (Dave "Tex" O-Brien), he manages to penetrate Blackton's barricade of piled-up trucks. McCoy made eight Westerns for low-budget producer Katzman's Victory Pictures before signing with newcomer PRC. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Black Mountain Stage
West of Rainbow's End
West of Rainbow's End was one of two Tim McCoy westerns directed by Monogram Pictures workhorse Alan James. Returning to the screen after a tour with the Ringling Bros. circus, McCoy is cast as a former railroad detective who emerges from retirement to solve a series of suspicious accidents. The villains hope to sabotage the railroad so that they can engineer a big-time land swindle. For our hero, it's personal: the bad guys were responsible for the murder of his foster father. Kathleen Elliot, who spent most of her brief film career in westerns, co-stars as Tim's waitress sweetheart Joan. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Gun Code
Don't be fooled by the opening credits: the "Peter Stewart" listed as director Gun Code was actually PRC workhorse Sam Newfield. This low-budget western stars Tim McCoy as federal agent Tim Hammond, who follows a gang of big-city gangsters to the Wide Open Spaces. The crooks shake down the locals by demanding exorbitant funds for "protection" money, letting it be known that serious consequences will befall those who don't pony up the dough. When the villains kidnap a young boy, they've gone too far, sealing their doom at the hands of the stalwart Tim Hammond. Typical of the PRC product of the times, Gun Code is full of technical boners and logic gaps that tended to elicit laughter from more discriminating audiences. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Trigger Fingers
Tim McCoy is back as hard-ridin' Lighting Bill Carson in Victory Pictures' Trigger Fingers. When rustlers invade a peaceful frontier community, troubleshooter Carson is summoned to throw the rascals out. Once more indulging his penchant for disguise, our hero dresses up as a gypsy fortune-teller, complete with earring and gloriously awful mittel-European accent. Also cloaked in gypsy garb is Carson's comic assistant Magpie (Ben Corbett), whose makeup wouldn't convince a nearsighted cow. No matter: all lapses in logic are forgotten during the action-filled climax. Trigger Fingers represents one of the first film appearances by perennial B-flick heroine Joyce Bryant, who managed to survive ten years' worth of this sort of thing. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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