Trail of Terror
A.W. Hackel for Supreme
directed by Robert N. Bradbury
starring Bob Steele, Beth Marion, Forrest Taylor, Charles King, Frank Lyman jr, Charles K.French, Lloyd Ingraham, Richard Cramer, Nancy Deshon, Barney Cosnack, Ed Cassidy, Barbney Beasley, Clyde McClary, Herman Hack, Bud McClure, Robert McKenzie, Milburn Morante, Wally West
written by Robert N. Bradbury, cinematography by E.M.MacManigal, production supervision: Sam Katzman
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Spike Manning (Bob Steele), who has in jail befriended Muggs (Richard
Cramer) and his gang, makes a daring break-out to in some mountain
hide-out meet up with Muggs' pals Blake (Forrest Taylor) - the typical
honest citizen gangmember - and Hashknife (Charles King). For some reason
though, before coming eye to eye with them he spies on them and finds out
they have blackmailed the Sheriff's son Kent (Frank Lyman jr) into helping
them ... and he learns that they are planning to steal a payroll, so Spike
steals it before they can and even makes sure that Hashknife is arrested
for the crime.
Then Spike takes a job as the new foreman at the Sheriff's (Charles
K.French) farm and at the same time hooks up with Blake ... and he breaks
Hashknife free from prison.
The next few weeks, nothing much happens, and Spike gets very friendly
with the Sheriff's daughter Judy (Beth Marion) ... which only goes wrong
when he is visited by a local dancing girl (Nancy Deshon) who has news
about Muggs and his gang being released, and inevitably Judy learns Spike
isn't the upright citizen she thought him to be but a crook ... which
eventually leads to Spike's arrest, and to Blake shooting him, because he
hasn't only stolen the payroll at the beginning of the film but also some
loot Muggs has promised his gang long ago. But of course, Blake didn't
shoot him for real, Spike had taken all of this into account and arranged
his getaway. This is pretty much the point where Spike turns out to be not
a crook at all but an undercover G-Man, and in the end, he saves the day
with the help of the Texas Rangers and also gives Kent, the Sheriff's son,
an opportunity to redeem himself. And of course, finally Spike also gets
the girl, Judy, while the dancing girl turns out to be another gouvernment
Fast moving and full of unusual plottwists and plot elements - the most
interesting maybe a quite exciting and rough wrestling bout - as well as
action aplenty, this is pretty much typical Robert N.Bradbury-fare, a much
underrated B-Western auteur who always knew how to exceed genre
limitations and make the most of his often meager budgets.