User Reviews (10)

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  • AMC just premiered this film on their network. One can see that it came from a well cared for 35mm print. It appears the picture and sound were digitally mastered. It looked great in all its sweeping black and white glory. It is the best print I have ever seen of this film and compares very favorable to the other prints of this series shown on AMC.

    Personally, I like John Wayne as an actor in this series of films as Stony Brook then the A pictures he would soon start to make. Who cannot like that corny dummy Elmer. There is a kind of humor in these movies made by Republic that I have never seen from any other studio. My gut feeling is that it is a Americana feeling, and I like that. As in PALS OF THE SADDLE, Wayne's character as Killer Madigan is right on target while being slightly offbeat and wonderful at the same time.

    Great music, sound effects,humor and a rousing adventure make this a nifty film.
  • One of the more enjoyable entrées in the Three Mesquiteers series is Red River Range which finds the boys working as government agents to stop some cattle rustling.

    Unbeknownst to John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune the meatpacking industry has hired its own agent, Kirby Grant, to get a line on the rustling. That in itself was an interesting aspect of this film, the inflation of meat prices as a result of cattle rustling. One never does think of the economic hurt, those rustlers cause.

    Kirby's cover is blown before he can infiltrate and folks in the Red River country already know the Mesquiteers are coming. So Wayne and Grant switch places and Wayne poses as an escaped killer.

    The focus of the investigation is a dude ranch where some mighty strange goings on are occurring. Can't reveal what the scheme, but I assure viewers it's a lulu.

    A bit more comedy than usual in this film in the person of old vaudevillian Polly Moran, an amazonian tourist at the dude ranch with eyes on the Duke. Good thing the investigation was over as soon as it was because who knows what John Wayne might have had to do to keep his cover.
  • stevehaynie16 January 2006
    Any adventure of the Three Mesquiteers will be good, but Red River Range is not as polished as some of the other movies I have seen in the series. By polish, I mean that were continuity and script issues that I felt could have been handled better.

    Everything starts fine with a build-up of the importance of the Mesquiteers. When the town sends for one investigator to help the local sheriff find out who has been stealing the ranchers' cattle they end up with three! However, there is a switch along the way. The meat industry sends out its own agent to investigate what is happening to the cattle in the area. That investigator is Tex Reilly (Kirby Grant) who happens to be an old friend of the Mesquiteers. When he runs into the trio he explains that his face may be known to the cattle rustlers, so he trades places with Stony (John Wayne) and rides into town with Tuscon (Ray Corrigan) and Lullaby (Max Terhune). Stony investigates Tex's lead by masquerading as escaped murderer who falls in with the rustlers. That makes a total of four people working as Mesquiteers. From there the adventure unfolds!

    There were a few things that made me feel the quality was lacking in this movie. In one scene Tex refers to "the kid" before any kid has been mentioned or seen. In the next scene Tuscon and Lullaby meet Tommy (Sammy McKim). A scene must have been edited from the film or the scenes were edited out of order. Another thing that is really minor but noticeable is the lack of development of the main bad guys, Payne and Hartley (William Royle and Perry Ivins). They are taking/giving orders throughout the movie, but they never come across as really strong villains.

    The last thing to complain about is something that I perhaps should not mention, but it was significant. Red River Range recycles a plot element that I remembered from a Gene Autry movie, Public Cowboy No. 1 which was released in 1937. In that movie the cattle rustlers butchered the cattle on the range, buried the hides and waste, and moved the beef out in refrigerated trucks. That is repeated in this Mesquiteers adventure. Complaining about re-using plot elements in a B western may be a bit like complaining about 14 shots coming from a six shooter without reloading, but what seemed to be an original twist on cattle rustling in one movie reeked of plagiarism in the next. To be fair to Red River Range there is a plot element that I have not yet seen anywhere else. Vacationers at a dude ranch are taken out to rustle cattle as part of the everyday activities without knowing that they are helping real cattle rustlers.

    Perhaps I have nitpicked too much because over all Red River Range is worth viewing.
  • When the governor called on the 3 Mesquiteers in the Civilian Volunteer Reserve he got more than he bargained for with Kirby Grant. That caused Stony, Tucson, and Lullaby a change of plan. Lorna Gray and Burr Caruth had to hold down the fort from the William Royle led cattle rustlers. Polly Moran added much needed comic relief and Sammy McKim gave the youthful high energy performance when he was forced into action. Under George Sherman direction and great acting, Red River Range is outstanding in the 3 Mesquiteers series.
  • Over the course of the Three Mesquiteers series, the lineup changed all the time. The three cowboys featured in each film never was constant...and in this case John Wayne joins the more familiar Mequiteers (Tex Terhune and Ray Corrigan...who played in quite a few more films in the series). The series was enjoyable...and neither great nor poor. Compared to most B-westerns of the day, they were a bit better than average.

    In this story, the Mesquiteers are, as usual, undercover agents working for the side of nicenss. They've arrived in town to investigate an insanely organized cattle rustling scheme...one that has a portable slaughterhouse that immediately processes the beef and cuts out the middleman. Can our handsome Mequiteers...and Max...manage to get to the bottom of all this?

    This film is pretty typical of a Mesquiteer film, even with Wayne in the lead and the guys going undercover. As usual, Terhune whips out Elmer...his ventriloquist dummy!! I can't stand this and audiences back in the day must have groaned when they saw a couple dummies among the crime-fighters!
  • Good cast, great William Lava score, and generally high production values -- marred only slightly by an obviously fake riding scene with young Sammy McKim -- raise this Three Mesquiteers programmer from the routine.

    Bob Livingston had been replaced at this point in the series by a very good-looking John Wayne as Stony Brooke, but Ray Corrigan and Max Terhune continued as Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin.

    Veteran Polly Moran made a great lady dude visiting out West, and the bad guys -- a large number -- were very believable.

    Maybe this is just exactly what we expect from the pros at Republic (I like the sound of that word) Pictures, but George Sherman's directing was actually above the average. He used a moving camera to excellent benefit and got some superlative performances out of, perhaps especially, Crash Corrigan, who was in great shape, and looked handsome and heroic, and gave a very credible performance.

    Three Mesquiteers movies after the very earliest entries were programmers and probably were never expected to be considered classics, but they are. In part because of the unfailingly high quality of casts and in part because of the generally good quality of story.

    There was a lack of consistency in the settings, this one being set at about the time of the filming, with cars and trucks figuring as prominently as horses.

    But it all fits; there is no anachronistic feeling.

    This is good stuff, and I recommend "Red River Range," which you can find at YouTube.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of 51 westerns by Republic, in the late '30s and early '40s. under the banner of The 3 Mesquiteers: a combination of mesquite and musketeers. The identity of the 3 actors varied. John Wayne was one in only 8 of them, including this one. With a run time of only 56min., it packs in a lot of scheming and action. This is an early example of the directing of George Sherman of Republic B westerns. He would later switch to Columbia, and then to Universal, nearly always directing B westerns. Here, Wayne as Stony, Roy Corrigan as Tucson, and Max Trehune, as Lullaby are the 3Ms. Lullaby occasionally got out his dummy and practiced ventriloquism.......The 3Ms are assigned the task of identifying and arresting the members of a mysterious gang of rustlers , who seemingly make the cattle disappear without a trace. They run into a friend, Tex, who has been trying to go undercover to discover the workings of this gang. But, he hasn't had any success. Stony suggests that Tex take his place as one of the 3Ms,while Stony disguise himself as an escaped prisoner. Based on some information, the real Stony decides to first check out the Payne Health Dude Ranch. He soon talks his way into a job with Payne, who turns out to be the kingpin of the rustling racket. Stony gets the assignment to kill the 3Ms. He rides with a couple of henchmen to the Mason' s house, where they are rumored to be. He goes in, we hear 2 shots, and he exits. Amazingly, the two henchmen don't investigate, assuming that he did his job on 2 of the 3Ms. Stoney arranges a big funeral for the 2, that attracts the whole town.(but where are the bodies??) The idea is that the rustlers will figure this is an excellent time to rustle some cattle, and Stony can find out the planned pickup location. The rustlers use a pair of long 18 wheelers, that look nothing like typical cattle trucks, to transport the cattle. Stony sits beside the driver of one, until the henchman pulls a gun on him, declaring that he must be the real Stony. He's about to shoot Stony when Tucson and Lullaby appear out of nowhere and shoot the gun out of the henchman's hand. The 3Ms succeed in getting the henchman to tell them the revised location of the cattle pickup, only after locking him in the truck and turning up the refrigeration system. Pretty soon, a posse shows up, and(I forget why) are loaded in the truck, with their horses, for transport to the designated pickup point. Banker Hartley insists on riding in the cab , with Tucson. After a while, he pulls out a gun and directs Tucson to slow around the next curve, so he can jump out, and then the truck supposedly will go over a cliff, killing all inside. What a dastardly fellow!, But Stony manages to open the back door enough to climb onto the roof, eventually reaching the cab. Tucson sees him coming, in his mirror, and shoves Hartley out the door, as Stony slides into the driver's seat. What a cliff hanger! When they get there, the posse pours out and battles the rustlers. Eventually, they are killed or surrender, and are herded into the truck. I've left out some threads, and have some reservations about details in the story....... There are 2 young women slightly involved: Lorna Grey, as Jane, is Tex's girlfriend. The striking blond Lenore Bushman, as Evelyn, apparently is a guest at the dude ranch. Too bad she only had a couple of film credits and is barely in this one. Mrs. Maxwell is an older woman, and engages in a bit of comedy, supposedly teaching Stony how to ride a horse, when she can't get on without help.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    . . . were making the Realistic Flicks that Blue Collar Americans yearned to see, such as THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT, John Wayne was catering to the crowd peopling Tod Browning's classic film, FREAKS, with such fare as THEY DRIVE BY DAY (also released as RED RIVER RANGE). Wayne's show features a dude ranch owner who gets the bright idea of embedding his elderly bridge-playing lady clients amid a gang of ACTUAL cattle rustlers, so that they can steal and drive their Bovine Cownapees IN BROAD DAYLIGHT 5 or 10 miles to a refrigerator truck, where the purloined sirloin is slaughtered and dressed, again IN BROAD DAYLIGHT! Amazingly, it also turns out that the cooling semi-trucks tooling around America's rutty two-track back roads in the 1930s could freeze meat at minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (presumably so that it would stay fresh on ice in the event of a catastrophic Mad Cow Disease Outbreak in the 22nd Century, at which time the descendants of the rustlers--after paying 300 years of high electric bills--could fetch top dollar for their meat).
  • No matter what film John Wayne appears in he's always interesting to watch. Besides the fact that as an actor he was used by novelists and directors to reinvent the American west, as a personality he was endearing to watch, especially in this film where he is more important than the storyline.
  • Red River Range (1938)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    "B" Western from Republic has The Three Mesquiteers (led by John Wayne) trying to determine the cause of various cattle going missing. This is really no better or worse than the thousands of "B" films made during this period but you do have Wayne here, which puts it a notch above other films that did this very storyline. There's some nice action but the story is oh so predictable.

    As of now, the only way to view these is on AMC but that means you also get commercials. Hopefully one day all the films will be released in a box set.