27 October 2003 | bsmith5552
Pleasant Series Western
"Rawhide Rangers" was an entry in the long running Johnny Mack Brown series for Universal in the 1940s.
The story has a gang of outlaws terrorizing the countryside stealing and killing and driving out the local ranchers. A company of under strength Texas Rangers is out to stop them. Among the Rangers is Brand Calhoun (Brown) who is assigned to the case. While trying to prevent a stage holdup, Calhoun's brother Steve (Roy Harris aka Riley Hill) is killed. Calhoun resigns from the Rangers and embarks on a life of crime in competition with the outlaws led by "respectable" citizen Martin (Ed Cassidy - without his trademark moustache) and his henchmen Blackie (Harry Cording) and Dirk (Bob Kortman).
Calhoun is forced to join the outlaws and aid them in their robberies. But has Calhoun really turned to crime? What do you think?
Fuzzy Knight usually rode with Brown in this series as his sidekick, however in this one he spends most of his time trying to steal pies baked by the company cook Sing Lo (Chester Gan). Unusual for series westerns is having the hero showing any romantic affection for anyone other than his horse. But in the Brown series, he often had a romantic (always platonic) lead. In this case, it was Jo-Ann Rawlings (Kathryn Adams) who really had nothing else to do. The female honors go to Nell O'Day as the spunky tom boyish "Patti". The scene where she attacks Cassidy at a meeting is hilarious.
Trying to keep up with the singing cowboy craze of the day, Universal inserted musical numbers into Brown's series. In this case Knight, the KCBS Rangers and The Pickard Family each get to sing a song or two.
"Rawhide Rangers" is a pleasant entertaining series western.