Overland Stage Raiders
William Berke for Republic Pictures
directed by George Sherman
starring John Wayne, Ray Corrigan (= Ray 'Crash' Corrigan), Max Terhune, Louise Brooks, Anthony March, John Archer, Gordon Hart, Fern Emmett, Henry Otho, George Sherwood, Arch Hall sr, Frank LaRue, Yakima Canutt
based on characters by William Colt MacDonald
Three Mesquiteers, Republic's Three Mesquiteers
As the bus carrying the gold shipments from Oro Grande is repeatedly
robbed, the 3 Mesquiteers (John Wayne as Stony Brooke, Ray Corrigan as
Tucson Smith, Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin) suggest to the local
goldmine's owner to fly the gold out by Ned Hoyt's (Anthony March)
airplane services - a company the Mesquiteers have just recently bought
half of, mainly because Stony has fallen for Hoyt's sister Beth (Louise
Brooks). & the Mesquiteers even persuade the locals to buy shares of
the airplane company for the good of the region, meaning that most of
them sell large parts of their cattle for the company to buy a new
airplane. This all is much to the dismay of Mullins (Gordon Hart), owner
of the local bus company, who tries to sabotage the airline's success on
every step of the way: first he tries to steal the cattle so the airline
cannot afford the new plane. When the Mesquiteers successfully interfere
though, Mullins has the plane hijacked, with Ned Hoyt himself, who
pilots the plane, as a taylor-made prime suspect since he once served a
prison term. But Hoyt still has an ace up his sleeve when he ejects the
plane's fuel & lands it in the middle of nowhere. Now Mullins relies
on his last joker card to discredit the airline, its communications
coordinator Joe Wardell, secretly a spy for Mullins, to find the plane
before the Mesquiteers do. But the Mesquiteers have already grown wise
to Wardell, & by means of a shoot-out with the hijackers &
Mullins' gang, clear Hoyt's name & that of the airline.
The concept sounds really nice, a war of airline vs busline fought by
horseback-riding cowboys, & this very slick Western puts it on
celluloid. Unfortunately, the film's undeniable qualities - for a mere
series- or B-Western at least - are also its greatest faults. The film
is just a tad too slick, thus too impersonal & without any edges to
really provide much interest, making this little more than just
another of these Mesquiteers-movies.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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