Riders of the Deadline (1943)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - B-Western  |   Release Date - Dec 3, 1943 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 47 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Two newcomers, Robert Mitchum and Richard Crane, take center stage in this lavishly budgeted entry in the long-running Hopalong Cassidy series. The latter plays Tim Mason, a young hothead about to be inducted into the Texas Rangers on the behest of his good friend, Hoppy (William Boyd). Unfortunately, Tim has been persuaded into gambling away funds meant to save his floundering ranch by nasty Gunner Madigan (Anthony Warde). The lender, unscrupulous banker Simon Crandall (William Halligan), is in reality the leader of a gang of gun-runners and blackmails Tim into turning a blind eye to the gang's illegal activities on the border. Tim, however, refuses to play along, and is arrested when a driver implicates him in the crimes. Promising Tim's sister, Sue (Frances Woodward), that her brother will never go on trial, Hoppy is falsely accused of complicity when Tim is shot attempting to escape. In reality, the whole thing is a set-up, Tim having been murdered in cold blood by crooked Deputy Martin (Hugh Prosser), who is on Crandall's payroll. Pretending to leave the rangers in disgrace, Hoppy, to the disgust of sidekicks California Carlson (Andy Clyde) and Jimmy Rogers, instead joins the outlaws. It is all a ruse, of course, and Hoppy manages to get the goods on Gunner, his chief henchman, Drago (Mitchum), and the wiry Crandall, the latter two biting the dust in a climactic shootout in the bank.

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Keywords

bank-personnel, capture, con/scam, friendship, gambling, hidden, lawyer, ranch, smuggling, trapped