29 July 2007 | bkoganbing
Renegades and Railroad Supplies
Seeing how well Republic had done with The Three Mesquiteer cowboy trio concept and that it had also worked for Paramount with Hopalong Cassidy, Monogram decided to form its own trio for low budget westerns, the Rough Riders. Not that there were any high budget films done at that studio.
The Rough Riders were originally Buck Jones, Raymond Hatton and Tim McCoy, all of whom started out on the silent screen. McCoy bowed out and Rex Bell took his place as a Rough Rider.
Sadly this B western for Monogram would prove to be the end of the trail for Buck Jones as he was tragically killed in the famous Cocoanut Grove Nightclub fire in Boston. Not much of an epitaph from the film industry for a great western star.
Town boss Harry Woods and chief henchman Roy Barcroft don't want the railroad coming in because too many settlers might just mean the end of having things their way. Barcroft has a nice little sideline as a white man who runs an outlaw band that attacks and massacres wagon trains to keep the settlement population down.
Of course with Jones and Hatton on the outside and Bell working on the inside things are soon put to rights. Jones even has time for a fling with Mona Barrie, a poker Alice type gambling lady.
Dawn of the Great Divide got butchered badly in the editing department, there's a lot more footage out there I'm sure. But we'll never see it, I doubt they'll be demand for a director's cut of a Monogram feature.