The Fighting Ranger (1948) Poster

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Meanwhile Back at the Ranch!
bsmith555218 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Another in the long running budget conscious series of oaters from Monogram starring Johnny Mack Brown and Raymond Hatton.

In this one Johnny plays Ranger Johnny Brown. As the story opens, Johnny is chasing down fugitive Sinclair (I. Stanford Jolley) for the suspected murder of a fellow Ranger. Sinclair takes a fatal fall while trying to escape. Before he dies Sinclair names his cousin Heck (frequent Brown baddie Marshall Reed) as the real killer and that he has a 10 year old son Dave (Charlie Hughes) whom he asks Johnny to protect.

After Johnny places the boy with the Rangers, he goes to the Henderson ranch to seek a job. With the help of old timer Banty (Hatton) he gets hired despite the protest of Hack. Johnny soon gains the confidence of ranch owner Ward Henderson (Steve Clark) and points out Hack's evil intentions. It seems that Sinclair and Hack were in line to inherit the ranch upon Henderson's death. Hack tries to expedite this.

Ranch hand Gill (Eddie Parker) is caught by Johnny trying to cut the fences in order to rustle Henderson's cattle. He is held captive at the ranch but later escapes. Hack arranges to accompany Henderson with ten grand to purchase more cattle but also arranges for Gill and the boys to attack and rob the old man. But Johnny and Banty foil the robbery.

Later Henderson now suspecting Hack rides the range with him but is shot by the gang. Before he dies Henderson changes his will to name young Dave as his heir and Johnny as his guardian. Hack's attempt to ambush young Dave when returning from the Ranger Headquarters fails which forces Hack into desperate action and...........................................

One of the better Brown/Hatton films where most of the action takes place in the great outdoor. Johnny manages to get into a couple of fights and there's plenty of gunplay to boot. Christine Larson plays Julie Sinclair Dave's mother and veteran Milburn Morante is along for comedy relief as the ranch cook.

As an aside, although the story centers around a cattle ranch, we don't see any actual cattle except for a stock shot of a herd when Johnny goes to check on them.
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