Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Made with the full cooperation of the real-life Texas Rangers (who never met a publicity gimmick they didn't like), this sprawling historical western stars Fred MacMurray as Jim Hawkins, one of three outlaws working the Lone Star State in the years following the Civil War. Both Hawkins and his partner in crime Wahoo Jones (Jack Oakie) decide to go straight, but their bandit pal Sam McGee (Lloyd Nolan) has not quite seen the light. Eventually, Jim and Wahoo join the fledgling Texas Rangers, an organization dedicated to bringing law, order and honest government to their state, while McGee cuts a swath of terror with his new gang. When the two reformed outlaws are assigned to bring in their old friend Sam, Jim balks but Wahoo accepts. In the film's most talked-about scene, McGee smilingly puts a hole through Wahoo's stomach with a gun he has hidden under a table. Now motivated by revenge (although he couldn't say as much in a post-Production Code film), Jim vows to bring McGee to justice, dead or alive, but preferably the former. Released to coincide with the Texas Centennial, The Texas Rangers was remade in 1949 as Street of Laredo; there was also a 1940 sequel, The Texas Rangers Ride Again.
bad-guy, career, cowboy, friendship, gangster, good-guy, lawman, lawyer, outlaw [Western], ranger [military]