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Blazing Six Shooters

(aka "Stolen Wealth" 1940)

 

Columbia Pictures Corporation

Production Dates: November 10-21, 1939

Release Date: 1940 04 04

Running time: 61 or 63 min (6 reels)

Key book (production) number: 324

 

Credits

Songs

Cast

Plot

Production & Publicity Stills

     Lobby Cards & Posters

     Ad

     Original Art

     This movie is available on DVD.

 

Introduction:

        A fast-paced western with the galloping of horses as background "music", Blazing Six Shooters, is the tale of two elderly ranchers being murderously swindled out of their property.  Fortunately, the son of an old friend rides in with his singing friends and saves the property for the heroine, the pretty niece of one of the ranchers. Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers are always there behind the hero but only Bob has a bit of dialogue. The film is redeemed by two excellent song sequences and striking cinematography. There is no background sound other than the music provided by the Sons of the Pioneers.

 

 

 


Cast:

 

 Charles Starrett as Jeff Douglas, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers as ranch hands.

Photo, courtesy of Ed Phillips

 

 Henry Hall as Dan Kenyon and Iris Meredith as his daughter, Janet Kenyon

 

 

Bruce Bennett as Winthrop, Al Bridge as Bert Karsin and Dick Curtis as Lash Bender

 

George Cleveland as Mark Rawlins and Stanley Brown as Cassidy

 

Edmund Cobb as the Sheriff

Others in the cast:

John Tyrrell as Savage

Eddie Laughton as Runyon

Francis Walker as Shorty


Songs:

Tumbling Tumbleweeds (Bob Nolan) (over opening credits)
Its a Cowboys Life For Me (Glenn Spencer)
Don Juan (Tim & Glenn Spencer)
Its a Cowboys Life For Me and Tumbling Tumbleweeds over the credits.
 


Plot:

    Jeff Douglas and the Sons of the Pioneers are riding along to the Kenyon Ranch singing It's a Cowboy's Life for Me. Pat complains about riding for a week without adequate food. Jeff asks Bob to ride ahead with him to get his bearings as he is not quite sure where the ranch is situated.

 

 

    They top a rise and look down into a valley, wondering aloud if the ranch below is the one they are looking for. As they sit on the hill, breathing their horses, they can hear a fierce argument taking place.

 

 

    The spirited disagreement is between two elderly gentlemen. One of them, Dan Kenyon, is angrily assisting his niece, Janet, into the buggy while the other, Mark Rawlins, is telling him he is crazy if he does not sell his ranch. Then we become aware of a third man standing with them who tries to tell Kenyon that he cannot afford to pass up his offer to buy both ranches. Rawlins agrees and says he, personally, certainly cannot afford not to sell.

 

 

    Jeff asks Bob to return for the boys while he rides down to see if this is the Kenyon Ranch. He arrives in time to hear the argument escalate until Kenyon pulls a gun on the other man. His niece grabs his arm and the gun goes off in the air, frightening the team which bolts. It doesn't take Jeff long to realize that Kenyon has lost the reins and control of the horses so he spurs his own black to greater speed and stops the team.

 

 

    Janet tries to explain what happens as she introduces herself and her uncle. Jeff delightedly tells them he has been looking for them. Dan Kenyon's anger disappears as he recognizes the son of an old friend. Through his Dad, Jeff owns half of the Kenyon Ranch.

 

 

    The third man gallops up and Janet introduces him as the man who has offered to buy the two ranches, Bert Karsin. [The film was spliced at this point and we can't make out what he did for a living so we assume he's some kind of developer.] He asks Jeff how long he is staying and is obviously unhappy when Jeff responds, "As long as Mr. Kenyon needs us."

 

 

    Up in the hills, Kenyon's foreman (Lash Bender) and two other fellows are chipping away at the rock until one of the men brings a nice piece of silver bearing ore to Lash. Lash assures them that they will all be rich once they get hold of the two ranches.

 

 

    Their exploration is interrupted by the sound of an approaching horse and they cover their discover with brush. They relax when they see it is Bert Karsin, come to warn them of the advent of Jeff and the Pioneers and the arrival of a representative from a mining company in the morning. They discuss ways and means of changing Kenyon's and Rawlins' minds until Lash remembers that Kenyon sold his cattle and has $18,000 in his safe. It would be convenient if that money disappeared. Lash decides to steal it and then Karsin warns him about Jeff's appearance on the scene.

 

 

    At the Kenyon Ranch, Dan welcomes Jeff and Rawlins into his livingroom. Kenyon explains that the reason he will not consider selling is because there is something suspicious about the whole offer. He figures neither ranch is worth more than $20,000 and when somebody comes along offering $35,000 he smells a rat somewhere. Jeff asks who the buyer is and does not recognize the name, Eastern Beef Company. He wonders if they are offering the ranchers too little. Is there any mineral spring or gold on either ranch? No mineral springs or gold, he's told. Rawlins says again that $35,000 sounds like a lot of money to him and he does not intend to pass it up.

 

 

    Rawlins goes for his hat and prepares to leave. Kenyon follows him and asks him if he's in trouble. Rawlins admits that he's in debt over his head because of debts incurred in his late wife's final illness. The bank is foreclosing on him.

    All this time, Lash has been eavesdropping at the window.

 

 

    Kenyon presses a loan of $10,000 on Rawlins and orders him to stop worrying. Rawlins, overcome with emotion, leaves, unaware that he is followed by Lash.

 

 

 

    Lash watches through a window to see where Rawlins puts the money then, after Rawlins goes to bed, quietly enters the house and takes it.

 

 

    Lash goes immediately to Karsin's office and brings him up to date on what has happened. Karsin compliments him, satisfied that he has both ranchers at a disadvantage.

 

 

    Now comes one of the prettiest pieces of photography and singing in the picture as Pat Brady leads the Sons of the Pioneers in Don Juan while they wash their clothes in the yard.

 

 

    Jeff walks in and there is some light-hearted tossing around of wet laundry until Dan Kenyon and Janet enter the yard. Kenyon draws Jeff aside and asks him to point out the horse he has been riding. When Jeff points out his black mount, Kenyon makes derogatory remarks about him and has Lash lead over a white. He gives the horse to Jeff after he tells him how Jeff's father had brought him to the ranch as a colt.  Kenyon urges Jeff to ride him with Janet as escort so he "won't get lost".

 

 

 

    After Jeff and Janet have ridden off, Kenyon orders Lash to bring the team around to the house for him.

 

 

 

    Curious, Lash asks him if he's going to town. Kenyon responds by asking him when he was up at the Copperhead last, thereby letting Lash know that he is going up there himself to look around. The Copperhead is the summit that divides the two ranches and contains the silver ore. Lash mounts and reaches the Copperhead ahead of Kenyon.

 

  

 

    Karsin is already there and has been showing the geologist, Winthrop, the ore on "his" land. Winthrop is impressed and they agree to close the deal, dependent on the final word from his employers. Lash indicates that he would like private conversation with Karsin to warn him to get rid of the geologist because Kenyon is on his way up. Karsin insinuates that Lash better do away with Kenyon.

 

 

 

    Lash rides up to Kenyon to find he has discovered the silver ore for himself. By his very size and the brute force of personality, Lash backs Kenyon over the cliff to his death. Then, to make it look like an accident, he rolls the buggy over the cliff, too.

 

 

 

    Meanwhile, Jeff and Janet have been riding over the ranch and are just now returning to the house. Lash has returned a minute or so ahead of him and Jeff notices that his horse is hot. He says goodbye to Janet and Lash offers to put her horse away for her. Just then, Rawlins races up and asks to talk to Kenyon. Lash tells him that Kenyon is out with the team and hasn't returned. On being questioned about his obvious worry, Rawlins tells them that the money Kenyon gave him the previous night has been stolen. The buggy-less team gallops in and everyone mounts to backtrack the horses.

 

 

 

    They find the buggy and Kenyon's body. Rawlins can't understand how as good a horseman as Kenyon could have an accident like this. Lash accuses him of killing Dan. Jeff silently tries to comfort Janet and then asks Lash to ride into town to get the sheriff.

 

 

 

 

    The next scene opens at the inquest in the sheriff's office. Jeff asks the sheriff's permission to question Lash. He asks him why he had changed his mind and now considers his employer's death accidental. Lash replies lamely that he was excited and said things he shouldn't. The sheriff and doctor decree Dan Kenyon's death is from unknown and accidental causes. As the courtroom clears, the sheriff asked Janet and Jeff to remain behind for the reading of the will. (Jeff notices that Lash has gone straight to Karsin's office. Lash tells Karsin he is uneasy about Jeff asking so many questions and tells him that he had better get things tied up with Janet quickly.) According the Kenyon's will, Jeff and Janet are both beneficiaries and no sale can be made without the consent of both parties.

 

 

    As they leave the sheriff's office, Jeff asks Lash to take Janet home and he tells Bob they have a lot of riding to do. Jeff, Bob and the Pioneers gallop up to the cliff where Kenyon had met his death. Lash, after leaving Janet at the ranch, follows them at a distance.

 

 

 

    Jeff, after examining the rig, tells Bob that the brake had never been set. They are puzzled because no one with Kenyon's experience would have traveled those curves without the brake on. On closer examination, Jeff finds that the traces have been cut.

 

 

 

    They decide that Kenyon must have seen something he shouldn't and Bob suggests they go up right away. Jeff cautions him. If there was something valuable up there, it would be guarded. They decide to pretend they are on their way home until they are around the corner, unseen by anyone watching. Then, Jeff said, "I'll pick my way up the rocks and you wait till you hear from me." But Lash works his way around until he can see them all from his vantage point and watches Jeff leave the group.

 

 

 

    Jeff picks his way through the huge boulders. Lash gallops around to where his henchmen are waiting and orders them to ambush Jeff. He returns to his high vantage point to watch Jeff and accidentally kicks down a few pebbles. Jeff is warned and, at the same time, finds the vein of silver ore.

    He sneaks up behind one ambusher only to find he is being held at gunpoint by two more from behind. One outlaw orders him to get on his horse then, as he mounts, Jeff kicks out behind him, throwing the henchman off balance.

 

 

   

Another draws a gun on him and Jeff shoots it from his hand. The shot alerts the Sons of the Pioneers who gallop to the rescue.

 

 

    The fight is on but Jeff easily holds off two men until the Pioneers arrive. The outlaws take to their heels and Jeff tells the Pioneers to let them alone, that he has another idea.

 

 

    They go to pay a call on Rawlins. Rawlins and Jeff decide that the only way to trap Karsin is to find, with Janet's help, if he has the stolen money.

 

 

 

    In the next scene we find Jeff arriving at the Kenyon ranch in a pretended fury. He tells Lash he is getting out, that he is leaving the country. He storms into the house and, sotto voce, lets Janet in on his plan. She catches on immediately and they start shouting at each other. Janet yells that she will not agree to let him sell his share of the ranch. Lash is, of course, eavesdropping at the window again.

 

 

    He comes in just as Jeff is forcing Janet to open the safe to get him the money he considers his share. Jeff knocks Lash down and bends down to remove the money from the safe. Lash gets the drop on him.

 

    Janet says she will let the sheriff decide who gets what and the three of them mount and ride to town. Rawlins, waiting with Pioneers, sees them pass below and they all head for town, too.

 

    Janet orders the sheriff to arrest Jeff just as the Pioneers gallop into town. Bob draws his gun and tells the sheriff they are taking Jeff and Janet. After they ride out of town, the sheriff rounds up a posse to follow them.

 

 

    Jeff's band races out of town with the posse following close behind. They leave the trail and hide in a little draw while the posse thunders by, then Jeff, Rawlins, Bob, Janet and the Pioneers turn and lose them.

 

 

    By nightfall the sheriff and posse return, tired and empty-handed, to town. Rawlins waits until the posse has dispersed and then calls on the sheriff who is dismayed to think Jeff is an outlaw. Rawlins disagrees and airs his own suspicions of Lash Bender and Bert Karsin. Coincidentally, Karsin is bawling Lash out for making a mess of things and orders him out. Lash, with an ugly look, leaves his partner.

 

 

    Lash watches Rawlins enter Karsin's office and stays around to see what's going on - through the window, of course. He hears Rawlins offer to take Karsin to Jeff who supposedly is willing to sell to him now. Both men leave town and Lash follows at a discreet distance.

 

 

    Rawlins brings  Karsin to talk with Jeff and Janet carries on the charade by refusing to sign until the very last moment. Jeff orders Bob to take her into the other room. Karsin asks Jeff how much he wants. Jeff reminds him that he was offering $35,000 and said he'd take $15,000 if it was in cash right now. Karsin promises him $10,000 in the morning. Rawlins will get a cheque for his $35,000.

 

 

    After Karsin leaves, they gleefully look at their prospects. Their plan appears to be working.

 

 

 

    Karsin returns to town and his office, watched by Lash and two of his henchmen. Lash dismounts and crosses the street to peek through the window to see Karsin opening his safe. He knocks on the door. Karsin closes the safe again before answering it. Lash demands they split up the $10,000 in the safe and make a run for it before it is too late. Karsin lies and says the money is in the bank. He asks Lash if he still trusts him. "Sure," replies Lash in a menacing tone that leaves us in no doubt that he is lying, too. After he leaves, Karsin removes the money from the safe, adds the documents he needs, leaves his office, mounts and rides out of town. Bender and his cohorts follow.

 

 

 

 

    Back at the Kenyon Ranch, Bob alerts Jeff that Karsin is coming and is sent to the bunkhouse. Karsin enters the house with the deeds while, unknown to everyone, Bender and his three henchmen arrive outside. Jeff "forces" Janet to sign and Karsin hands over the money. The serial numbers match the money in Kenyon's safe and Jeff buttons the bills inside his shirt. Bender enters, gun in hand, and disarms everyone. Jeff tricks Lash into admitting to the murder of Dan Kenyon. 

 

 

    Bender's cohorts march in the Sons of the Pioneers, also at gunpoint. Bender leaves Cassidy in charge of them all and escorts Karsin back to town to turn the deeds over to Winthrop in exchange for the money for the two ranches. At a glance from Jeff, Janet suggests making coffee and goes into the kitchen, escorted by Cassidy.

 

 

    She asks Cassidy to carry the cups into the other room for her and, as he enters the door, Jeff pushes him, disarms him and the Pioneers grab him.

 

 

    While everyone is pounding on everyone else, Janet escapes, takes a rifle from a saddle holster, breaks a window with it and stops the action.

 

 

    Leaving Bob with orders to tie up the villains, Jeff and Rawlins run for their horses and town to stop Lash. Janet joins them.

 

 

 

     Winthrop studies the documents, agrees that all is in order and hands Lash the certified cheque.

 

 

 

    The crooks start to leave the room when Lash sees Jeff et al galloping up. He pushes Karsin outside and keeps a gun on Winthrop inside the room. Lash locks Winthrop in the building and leaves by the back door. He sees Janet waiting, sneaks up behind her and takes her as hostage. Forcing her to mount, he keeps her with him until he sees the Sons of the Pioneers sweep into town with their prisoners. He abandons Janet and spurs out of town at a dead run, Jeff after him.

 

 

 

    There is a chase scene featuring a magnificent Raider. Jeff bulldogs Bender from his horse. They roll down a little hill and come up punching. After a half-hearted fist fight, Bender gives up.

 

 

    The film ends with Jeff and Janet listening to the Sons of the Pioneers singing "It's a Cowboy's Life for Me". Jeff proposes and Janet accepts. Naturally!

 

 

 

 

Production & Publicity Stills

 

 

Courtesy of Ed Phillips

 

 

324-60

Private Collection

 

 

Private Collection

 

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

eBay image

 


 

Lobby Cards and Posters:

 


 

Tim Spencer, Lloyd Perryman, Charles Starrett, Hugh Farr, Pat Brady, Karl Farr and Bob Nolan

(The Calin Coburn Collections 2004)

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

eBay image

 

eBay images

 

EDM

 

EDM

 

eBay image

 

eBay image

 

eBay image

 

eBay image

 

eBay image

 

eBay image by Glenn Cravath

 


 

Original Art by Glenn Cravath

 

 


 

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