The Night Riders (1939)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - B-Western  |   Run Time - 56 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This "Three Mesquiteers" western is based upon the exploits of one James Addison Reavis, a clever 19th century con artist who through a series of elaborate land swindlers tried to declare himself owner of the state of Arizona (Reavis' checkered career was later the basis for Samuel Fuller's The Baron of Arizona, starring Vincent Price). George Douglas plays the Reavis character, here named Talbot. Establishing himself as dictator of an unnamed western territory, Talbot taxes the citizens beyond endurance. Enter the Three Mesquiteers-Stony Brooke (John Wayne), Tucson Smith (Ray Corrigan) and Lullaby Joslin (Max Terhune) - who don capes and masks to do battle with Talbot's minions under cover of darkness. Part of the plot hinges on the fact that only President Garfield knows that the Mesquiteer's "crimes" are being committed on behalf of Liberty and Justice For All - and when Garfield is assassinated, our heroes are up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle.

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Keywords

bad-guy, conflict, cowboy, disguise, expose [revelation], good-guy, land, mask [disguise], nobility, outlaw [Western], ranch, robbery, Spain