Tim Holt Western Classics Collection, Vol. 3 [5 Discs] [DVD]

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Tim Holt comes to the aid of a young telegrapher wrongly accused of murder in this average western from RKO. The telegrapher, Dave Collins Ross Elliott, is released on parole and on his way west when hi-jacked by the same gang that caused his imprisonment in the first place. Gang leader Turk Thorne (John Dehner) needs Dave's help in an upcoming train heist but before he can "persuade" the youngster to go along with the scheme, Dave is rescued by cowpokes Tim Holt and Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin). But Thorne does not give up that easily and soon Dave is accused of killing the local telegrapher (Paul E. Burns), a crime actually committed by Thorne himself. Tim believes in Dave's innocence, however, and agrees to help him by setting a trap for Thorne and his henchmen. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Saddle Legion
Saddle Legion stars RKO Radio's resident cowboy hero Tim Holt. As in most of his postwar vehicles, Holt is teamed with Irish-Mexican laugh-spinner Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin). This time, Dave (Holt) and Chito come to the aid of their boss, rancher Fred Warren (Cliff Clark). It seems that crooked cattle inspector Regan (Robert Livington) has falsely claimed that Warren's livestock is infected with disease, the better to steal the cows and bulls for himself and sell them for a tidy profit south of the Border. Our Heroes strive to foil Regan with the help of lady doctor Ann Rollins (Dorothy Malone). Featured in the cast of Saddle Legion is Mexican actress Movita, better known as the first wife of Marlon Brando. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Tim Holt rides again in RKO's Gunplay. This time, Holt and saddle pal Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) try to solve a murder. The victim is the father of 11-year-old Chip Martin ([Harper Carter]) (best known for his portrayal of Clifton Webb's son in Titanic). At stake is a huge inheritance, which young Chip may lose to the head villain (who, of course, masterminded the murder). RKO's Tim Holt series was beginning to show its age, as indicated by the comparatively small box-office take of Gunplay. Nevertheless, the studio continued grinding out low-budget westerns until 1952. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Tim Holt and Richard Martin ride again in the RKO budget western Target. The story is nothing new: Tim (Holt) and Chito (Martin) take on a band of criminals who've been flummoxing local ranchers out of their land. The film's novelty value is the presence of a lady marshal, played by Linda Douglas. In typical 1950s fashion, of course, Douglas isn't quite as effective at keeping the peace as her two male co-stars. The supporting cast of Target is comprised of the usual western regulars, including Walter Reed, Lane Bradford and Riley Hill; also appearing in a sizeable role is John Hamilton, best-known as Perry White on TV's Superman. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Road Agent
At the time of its release the RKO "B"-western Road Agent raised eyebrows, not because of its violent content, but because of its astonishing lack of violence. Saddle pals Tim (Holt) and Chito (Richard Martin) find out the hard way that usurious Milo Brand (Mauritz Hugo) is charging exorbitant rates to the local ranchers for access to a private road. As a means to thwart the profiteer, Tim and Chito pose as bandits, the better to rob from the rich (Brand) and give to the poor (Everybody Else). The feminine interest is handled by Noreen Nash and Dorothy Patrick, while the very mild villainy is handled by Bob Wilke and Tom Tyler. Road Agent was slightly more successful financially than Tim Holt's first 1952 western Trail Guide, but not enough to elicit cheers at the RKO stockholder's meeting. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Storm over Wyoming
RKO's resident cowboy star Tim Holt made his first 1950 appearance in Storm over Wyoming. Tim and his saddle pal Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) ride smack dab into the middle of a range war. After preventing a lynching, Our Heroes try to get to the bottom of all the trouble. What we know, but they don't, is that sheep-owner Rawlins (Bill Kennedy) is playing one side against another. Featured in the cast is Richard Powers, who as "Tom Keene" had starred in his own RKO western series in the 1930s. Storm over Wyoming is another directorial feather in the cap of the talented (and underrated) Lesley Selander. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Border Treasure
For a Tim Holt western, Border Treasure is surprisingly light on action scenes. The plot is the main consideration, as Ed Porter (Holt) and his saddle pal Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) set about collecting money for an earthquake relief fund. The donations are stolen by the villains, whereupon Porter and Rafferty take chase. They nearly ride into an ambush, but are saved by Stella (Jane Nigh), the repentant girlfriend of one of the outlaws. Before the film's six reels have run their course, Our Heroes find themselves being accused of the robbery. Tim Holt fans won't believe that for a minute! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Law of the Badlands
Western star Tim Holt and director Lesley Selander continued their collaboration with Law of the Badlands. Holt and his cohort Chico Rafferty (Richard Martin) are lawmen who pose as desperadoes. The plan is to infiltrate a vicious gang of counterfeiters who've been flooding the frontier with funny money. But when Holt's former girl friend Joan Dixon shows up in town, the jig is up. Law of the Badlands was the least expensive Tim Holt western since the mid-1940s, but thanks to postwar inflation the film lost money--as did most of Holt's subsequent RKO B pictures. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Rider from Tucson
Arizona rodeo champs Dave Saunders (Tim Holt) and Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) head for Oro Grande, CO, to witness the marriage of their friend Tug Bailey (William Phipps) to Easterner Jane Whipple (Elaine Riley). But Bailey, a successful prospector, is in trouble with claim jumpers, notably Gypsy Avery (Veda Ann Borg) and her husband John (Robert Shayne), who don't shy away from murder to get what they want. Although accused of a killing actually committed by Gypsy and on the run from the law, Dave and Chito pin down the Avery gang near Tug's claim and the score is settled in a final shootout. The Rider From Tucson was filmed at Lone Pine, CA. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Rio Grande Patrol
Westerner Tim Holt and his sidekick Richard Martin are hired to act as border guards on the Rio Grande. This being a modern western (more or less), Holt is obliged to keep insurrectionists from smuggling machine guns into Mexico. The villainy this time around is in the grubby but formidable hands of Douglas Fowley and Tom Tyler; Cleo Moore, voluptuous leading lady of many a Hugo Haas "B" melodrama, is also around to rouse Holt's interest south of the border. A very modest western, Rio Grande Patrol has had its virtues blown all out of proportion by devotees of "cult" director Lesley Selander. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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