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1853: California has just split from Mexico and gone into the
possession of the USA - and soon enough, settlers are heading West like
nobody's business - which soon enough leads to tensions between the
(American) settlers and the resident (Latino) landowners.
One of the trecks is led by the three Mesquiteers - Stony (Robert
Livingston), Tucson (Bob Steele) and Lullaby (Rufe Davis) -, who are
initially welcomed with open arms by Don Miguel (Guy D'Ennery) because
Tucson is the best friend of his son Roberto (Robert Kellard) - but
problems soon arise when Mexicans attack and burn down the treck and the
blame is laid on no other than Roberto - and of the Mesquiteers only
Tucson believes in his innocence and helps him escape from the law. Stony
on the other hand thinks Roberto is guilty as the devil, but still agrees
to deliver to him a message from his father without giving him away to the
authorities ... but somehow he has been tricked and thanks to his help,
Roberto is arrested, tried abnd convicted to death by a firing squad after
all - and Tucson is more than a little disappointed in Stony, and he tries
to clear his friend's name on his own.
Stony meanwhile has done some thinking and slowly comes to the
conclusion that Roberto was indeed framed, so he and Lullaby pick up
investigations as well.
Soon, the trails of both Tucson and Stony lead to Don Carlos Montoya
(Davison Clark), a close friend of Don Miguel who actually only wants to
get his hands on Miguel's land, and a certain Mr Fields (Kenneth
MacDonald) and his hydraulic mining corporation, who has promised Don
Carlos a huge amount of money if he could get Don Miguel off his land.
After the usual chases, shoot-outs and action, Tucson and Stony finally
reconcile and fight side by side to free Roberto and bring the baddies to
justice. To noone's real surprise, they succeed ...
A rather typical Republic B-Western of the 1940's, meaning it
has a certain production line feel to it, but having its two leads going
against each other - at least for a while - actually makes this film
interesting ... it's just a shame that Robert Livingston hampers the movie
by giving a very poor performance as the hero in the wrong who
(temporarily) seems to be a bit of a bigot. This could have been
Livingston's role of a lifetime, unfortunately he just doesn't get a hold
of it and in his (supposedly) more interesting scenes seems to be oddly
out of place.