18 May 2007 | bsmith5552
Disappointing Rough Riders Feature!
"Riders of the West" was another in Monogram's "Rough Rider" series starring Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. It's not their best feature but the chemistry between the three stars makes it enjoyable nonetheless. It boasts a good cast of supporting players, some of which in my opinion, were miscast.
The story is that old "B" western standby of the bad guys rustling the local ranchers cattle in order to force them to mortgage their ranches with the villainous banker.
First we have the crooked banker, Miller (Walter McGrail), the crooked saloon owner, Duke Mason (Harry Woods - minus his signature mustache), the crooked rancher, John Holt (Robert Frazer), the crooked sheriff (Lee Phelps) and the "henchies", Hogan (Charles King), Slim (Tom London), Red (Bud Osborne) and Kermit Maynard as "one of the boys".
There's the son of the villainous rancher, Steve Holt (Dennis Moore) romancing Hope Turner (Christine McIntyre) daughter of the feisty old Ma Turner (Sarah Padden) who sends for the Rough Riders. Milburn Morante is also along as Joe, the storekeeper.
Jones doesn't go under cover in this one but McCoy poses as the Cattlemen's Association Investigator and Hatton as a snake oil salesmen. Before long the "boys" identify the trouble makers and bring them to justice.
This film, like others in the series contains little in the way of action. There's the usual shooting the gun out of the villain's hand sequences but no fisticuffs. The casting of Walter McGrail was a mistake. I mean they had Harry Woods in the cast. He was one of the baddest of bad guys ever to ride out of Gower Gulch. He has little to do in this one except play second banana to McGrail.
The producers also had Charlie King in the cast but he too has little to do, as does the veteran Tom London, and Bud Osborne doesn't even get to drive a stagecoach. Some veteran observers might remember Christine McIntyre as foil for the Three Stooges.
In spite of its faults, it's still a thrill for me to watch these three veteran stars (all went back to the silents) perform together.