Gunman From Bodie (1941)
Veteran action and western director Spencer G. Bennet certainly opens this the second of Monogram's eight "Rough Riders" oaters on a suspenseful and unusual note. On a dark and stormy night, a lone rider enters a secluded and seemingly vacant ranch house to find the slain bodies of the occupants and a hastily scribbled note bearing the legend: "Rustlers did this. I recognized Bill Cook with them. Take care of my baby. Mary Gibbs." Although the remainder of The Gunman from Bodie doesn't quite measure up to this suspenseful and evocative opening sequence, it is still a crackerjack little western, well-played by its trio of heroes, Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. The three "Rough Riders" are special agents assigned to look into a series of rustlings near the small town of Larabie. Working undercover as the notorious titular criminal, Jones discovers that the head of the rustlers is none other than supposedly-solid citizen Robert Frazer, who employs both the local sheriff (Max Waizmann and most of the hands at valuable Circle "B" Ranch. As the pretty owner of the ranch and her handsome foreman, Christine McIntyre and Dave "Tex" O'Brien(who sings "Little Tenderfoot"to the abandoned babe) supply the romantic interest, while Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton perform their assigned, and well-known, roles in their accustomed ways. But The Gunman from Bodie belongs squarely to Buck Jones, who combines strength with sentiment as the undercover agent discovering an abandoned baby in one of the more haunting opening sequences in B-Western history. … More
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