2 January 2005 | stevehaynie
The last Three Mesquiteers film was a good one!
Riders of the Rio Grande was the last in Republic's Three Mesquiteers series. From the start the plot builds around an honest man trying to hold together the local bank he owns to keep the whole town from going bankrupt after the bad guys rob the vault. We do not see the Mesquiteers until about fourteen minutes into the movie, but as soon as they arrive a fight scene begins. Republic was always good at providing plenty of action in their movies. Mistaken for the Cherokee Boys, the team of Tucson, Stony, and Lullaby has to evade the local sheriff as they work to right the wrongs in this last adventure.
Harry Worth is excellent as the main villain, Skelly. He had a cold, gentlemanly demeanor as he led the criminal gang in more than one movie. Riders of the Rio Grande has several of the actors that made B westerns fun. By 1943 Republic had perfected the quickly made western, and this movie proves it. The pacing and the story keep flowing nicely with no dull moments.
Knowing this was the end of the Mesquiteers series I had to wonder if they would go down on a low note or deliver the level of the series' past great moments. I was not disappointed. As much as I prefer the Livingston, Corrigan, Terhune lineup, the final lineup of Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, and Jimmie Dodd worked well.
In one scene Dodd pronounces "Mesquiteers" as "mess keet ers", much like someone with a Southern drawl would pronounce "mosquitoes." I had always thought it was pronounced similar to "Musketeers."