The Stranger from Ponca City (1947)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 56 min.  |  
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Filmed at the Providencia Ranch (today a cemetery in Burbank, CA), this entry in Columbia's long-running "Durango Kid" Western series features Texas Jim Lewis and his Lone Star Cowboys performing Lewis' own "Hootenanny Annie" and series regular Smiley Burnette singing "Top It," "Law and Order," and "Hill Billy Lil." In between all the music acts, Charles Starrett as Steve Larkin dons his usual guise of the Durango Kid in order to get the goods on the less desirable elements of Red Mound, TX. As local café proprietor Smiley Burnette explains, the white line dividing the town has been painted along main street to separate respectable businessmen such as himself from the lawless gunmen inhabiting the southern section, a dividing line that not even Deputy Marshal Tug Carter (Paul Campbell dares to cross. Despite Burnette's dire warnings, Steve purchases the abandoned Atkins ranch and soon all hell breaks loose. But dressed as his masked alter ego, Steve eventually discovers the true mastermind behind the lawlessness and Tug, now appointed town marshal, erases the white line that once divided the community. In her first of four appearances opposite Starrett, busy Columbia starlet Virginia Hunter played a real estate broker, and future leading men Jock Mahoney (billed as Jacques O'Mahoney) and John Carpenter make early screen appearances as the villain's henchmen.