This time out, Steve Carson (Charles Starrett) is an ex-Texas Ranger, on the trail of cattle swindlers making life tough for Santa Fe ranchers. Before getting there, he's framed for killing the Durango Kid back in Texas by a couple of henchmen working for Buck Prescott (Frank Fenton). He'll use Smiley Burnette's help in tracking down the bad guys as always, and this time Smiley's pretty handy with his fists. There's a great funny fight scene where he mixes it up with cowhand Barton, and later he turns the tables on a couple more galoots who try to take him by surprise. Smiley makes reference a couple of times as being with the Texas Rangers with Carson, I wonder if he was in any better shape back then.
Now if you're thinking, wait a minute, Carson IS the Durango Kid, you're right. The man shot by Carson in Texas was an impostor who was also set up by Hawk Edwards (Don Harvey) and Poker Joe (Paul Campbell). It's Prescott's way of getting even with Carson for running him out of Texas.
Keep an eye on the enterprising bartender at the beginning of the story. As he delivers refills of whiskey for his saloon patrons, he pours an unused glass from a passed out drunk back into the bottle - that's one way to keep profits up!
It's neat to see Mary Castle in the role of Toni Eaton, daughter of one of the ranchers swindled by Prescott. She wound up with a regular role as Frankie Adams in the first season of "Stories of the Century", a Western TV series debuting in 1954. Teaming up with partner Matt Clark (Jim Davis), she worked undercover to help catch famous outlaws of the wild west.
Before it's all over, Smiley Burnette offers a couple of songs as usual. The first is a tribute to his deep bass falsetto - "Old Fashioned Froggy Blues". Later on, we get a couple more tunes from a passel of singing cowhands called the Sunshine Boys, who sound pretty good around the old campfire.
By film's end, Carson and his alter ego settle the score with bad man Prescott and his gang. What's always curious to me though is where Durango keeps his white horse and black outfit when he's not being the Durango Kid!