"Dead Man's Gulch" is an excellent entry in Republic's long running series starring Don "Red" Barry.
The story involves two best friends Tennessee Colby (Barry) and Tommy Logan (Bud McTaggart) who are Pony Express riders. When the Pony Express disbands the two friends along with comic relief Fiddlefoot (Emmett "Pappy" Lynn) decide to return to Tommy's home town.
Once there Tennessee lands a Deputy Marshal's job while Tommy hooks up with bad guy Bledsoe (Clancy Cooper). Bledsoe is in cahoots with Patterson (John Vosper) who has a monopoly on the town's freight business. It seems that Tommy also has a sister Mary (Lynn Merrick) who fills the chaste heroine role. Pierce Lydon, Rex Lease and Al Taylor round out Bledsoe's gang.
As you would expect, the two friends clash when Tommy is found to have been involved in a couple of murders. Tennessee is then forced into a showdown, in a well staged finale, with his old friend.
This movie benefits from the direction of serial veteran John English who keeps the action coming. Republic's staff of ace stunt people provide some exciting stunt work as well.
Barry was a better actor than most of his contemporaries and it shows. The nickname "Red" came from his 1940 serial "The Adventures of Red Ryder". Although he only played the part that once, the nickname stuck with him the rest of his life.
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