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  • The last entry of Monogram Picture Corporation's "Rough Riders" series of eight films, shot at the "Monogram Ranch" in northern Los Angeles County's Placeritas Canyon, this work is a cut below the series norm, not helped by careless direction and editing, unconvincing stuntwork, and some fluffed lines (notably by Jack Daley), but whenever the three principals are on the screen - Buck Jones as Buck Roberts, Tim McCoy as Tim McCall, with Raymond Hatton as Sandy Hopkins - all playing Federal Marshals called upon to aid citizens of a town (Gold Creek, Nevada) infested with a criminal band, the production offers a good deal to enjoy as the trio of stalwarts relies upon its customary guile, cunning and use of disguise to overcome the forces of evil, here led by veteran blackguards of the Western genre Roy Barcroft and dour Harry Woods.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In the 1930s, Buck Jones and Tim McCoy both starred in a variety of low-budget westerns. However, in the late 1930s Monogram Studios had an idea--put both these stars (plus Raymond Hatton) in a series of films to increase their drawing power. Their Rough Rider films are generally quite good for the genre, though they are also rather cheap B-movies nevertheless. The series ended, however, when Jones was tragically killed in a nightclub fire in 1942...making this the last entry in the series.

    When the story begins, a small town newspaper publisher is talking to his friend. He tells him that he plans on printing an exposee naming Rand and Ludlow as the men behind some recent gold shipment robberies. Very soon after, someone blows up the newspaper office...destroying the printing press in the process. In desperation, the newspaper man contacts his old friend, Marshall Buck Roberts (Buck Jones). Not only does Buck arrive in disguise but, like most of their films, his partners also arrive in disguise--Tim (Tim McCoy) as a preacher and Sandy (Raymond Hatton) as an undertaker.

    What follows is the typically well polished and enjoyable western...without a lot of the singing, kissing and other superfluous junk. Well made....and a shame it had to be the last.
  • The Rough Rider team of Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, and Raymond Hatton saddled up for the last time for Monogram when they go west to a town being where the miners are being plagued by hijackers.

    A gang led by veteran western heavies Harry Woods and Roy Barcroft are our villains. They in turn are being led by another who is the brains. Thr film doesn't keep it a secret but I will.

    One thing this film does feature is an attack on the town newspaper. Robbing gold shipments is one thing, but violating the freedom of the press? It was what we were in Europe and the Pacific defending.

    This was a good B western to end the original series with.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A typical entry in the Rough Riders series is "West of the Law" (1942) in which Jones' U.S. marshal goes after the villains by disguising himself as a fellow bad man.

    Where have we met that plot before? Countless times, including Jones' far superior entry, "The Fighting Ranger" (1934) (formerly available on an excellent VintageFilmBuff DVD), excitingly directed by George B. "Andy Hardy" Seitz, of all people, from a thrill-a minute script by Harry O. "The Lost World" Hoyt and featuring a really "A"-grade support cast led by Dorothy Revier, Frank Rice, Bradley Page, Ward Bond (he's terrific!), Jack Wallace (as Pegleg), and our old friend, Denver Dixon, posing as Art Mix who plays Kelso, one of Page's henchmen.

    Getting back to "West of the Law", one of Miss Buffington's duties was to provide a lead role for Jones and topnotch support parts for McCoy and Hatton. McCoy was often cast as a gun-slinging preacher (as here) while Hatton revels in the role of a garrulous undertaker. The lead villain is particularly well played by Jack Daley, whose nefarious schemes are abetted by Harry Woods and Roy Barcroft.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    All nine films in the Rough Riders series (1941-42) are available on Public Domain DVDs including Critics' Choice and Mill Creek.

    Although they have a devoted following, these Rough Riders are not generally regarded as Buck Jones' best work, although they all offer very good entertainment. Mind you, the series got off to a fine start with Arizona Bound directed with surprising competence and even a bit of style by Spencer Gordon Bennett of all people whose philosophy was most definitely: "I don't bother to make it good, I always make it usually by a Tuesday or a Wednesday and certainly never later than a Thursday!"

    Jones, McCoy and Hatton made the most of their opportunities in "West of the Law" and received great support from Tris Coffin, Dennis Moore, Luana Walters and company.

    Adele Buffington wrote the scripts for the entire series, which was not such a bright idea as, with the exception of Dawn on the Great Divide, she did tend to repeat herself.