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The Old Chisholm Trail (1942)

Approved | | Action, Music, Western | 11 December 1942 (USA)
Dusty Gardner, bringing a herd up the Chisholm Trail, is looking for water. Belle Turner has water but wants an exorbitant price for it. When Dusty and his men start a well, Belle and her ... See full summary »


Elmer Clifton


Harry L. Fraser (story) (as Harry Fraser), Elmer Clifton (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Johnny Mack Brown ... Dusty Gardner
Tex Ritter ... Montana Smith
Fuzzy Knight ... Alvin Pendergast
Jennifer Holt ... Mary Lee
Mady Correll Mady Correll ... Belle Turner
Earle Hodgins ... Chief Hopping Crow
Roy Barcroft ... Ed Phillips
Edmund Cobb ... Joe Rankin
Budd Buster ... Rancher Hank
Jimmy Wakely Trio Jimmy Wakely Trio ... Musicians


Dusty Gardner, bringing a herd up the Chisholm Trail, is looking for water. Belle Turner has water but wants an exorbitant price for it. When Dusty and his men start a well, Belle and her men set out to stop them. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Stampede of Roaring Action...as Johnny and Tex crack down on ruthless range racketeers! See more »


Action | Music | Western


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Old Chisholm Trail
Performed by the Jimmy Wakely Trio
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User Reviews

Good Songs, So-So Film
16 July 2011 | by glofauSee all my reviews

The corn is higher than "a elephant's eye" in this obscure Western trifle. Tex Ritter and Jimmy Wakely provide dandy singing of some excellent songs, elevating what is otherwise a superficial (and sometimes downright tedious) story about the battle for water rights along the old Chisholm Trail.

Johnny Mack Brown and his gang of cowboys are trying to get their thirsty cattle to market, but the only water left on the old Chisholm Trail is controlled by a flashing-eyed, raven-haired beauty played by Mady Correll who demands an extortionate fee from the cowboys in order to cross her land to water their cattle. When the cowboys, hopelessly broke and righteously indignant at this transgression of the Code of the Old West, refuse to pay, this feisty vixen spends the rest of the film double-crossing everyone, rustling cattle, sending her bully boys into several ridiculously harmless gunfights with the good guys, and otherwise making herself utterly repulsive to all right-thinking He-Men... when she isn't vainly tempting Our Hero with her Fatal Beauty, that is.

Unfortunately, I'm making this sound like much more fun than it actually is. The film treads the boundaries of campy parody without actually crossing that line... but it comes mighty close.

One of the highlights of the film is a cat-fight between our villain and the blonde-haired proprietress of the local saloon (played by the lovely Jennifer Holt), which is tremendous fun and over far too quickly. One of this movie's charms is that it doesn't take itself too seriously, which makes it acceptable to watch... although I found the comic relief provided by Fuzzy Knight as a cowboy-turned-sideshow-magician and Earle Hodgins as an outraged cigar-store-like Indian who wants his money back to be tiresome.

The film is at its best when the cowboys are singing their excellent songs and the plot disappears, but, to give the film its due, the script mostly makes logical sense (however far-fetched the motivations might be) even if you don't really care about anything that happens. The only cliché missing from this film is Jennifer Holt being the saloon girl with the heart of gold... she's too pure for that. Otherwise, this is pretty formulaic drivel with the exception of Mady Correll as the villain rather than some black-hat-wearing hombre.

If you happen to catch this film, there are several moments of campy goodness to amuse you. The songs are good (especially The Old Chisholm Trail, the opening number of the film). But don't go out of your way.

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