23 March 2007 | horn-5
The last of the "Series" B- Westerns...
...followed by about 40 cheap-jack one-shot-and-done B-westerns, "Two Guns and a Badge" finds happy-go-lucky Jim Blake (Wayne Morris), just out of prison for armed robbery, being appointed a deputy sheriff of the outlaw-ridden town of Outpost. His appointment, by the leading citizens of the town, is through a case of mistaken-identity, which he lets ride. Being a Vincent M. Fennelly corner-cutting "production", the qualification as 'leading citizen' means everybody in the cast, that isn't an outlaw.
Among them are Sheriff Jackson (Morris Ankrum); town-banker Wilson (Damian O'Flynn)who is trying to break up a gang of cattle rustlers; Allen (I. Stanford Jolley), the storekeeper; Bill Sterling (Roy Barcroft), leading rancher in the area; and Dick Grant (William Phipps), a young rancher and protégé of Sterling, whose engagement to Sterling's daughter, Gail (Beverly Garland), has been announced.
The outlaws, led by the Moore brothers (Bob Wilke and Chuck Courtney), all hangout in the saloon owned by Hardy (William Fawcett), but leave town after the first showdown with Jim. The rustling continues, and Jim, now in love with Gail and his true identity now known, comes to believe that the man behind the gang is Gail's father. It isn't but would have been in 95% of the other westerns in which Roy Barcroft appeared. The real leader turns out to be somebody else, easy to figure out based on the fact that this somebody else was also playing a role that didn't fit his usual type-cast role.
Jim brings the gang to justice after a few killings, wins the girl, and is made sheriff when the old one, glad to retire while still living, resigns.
The always hefty Wayne Morris, looking like Ken Maynard in the late 30s and early 40s, rides off, into the genre sunset, as a B-western lead with this film.