22 December 2012 | AlsExGal
The stuff of memorable Saturday matinées years ago
Corporal Rod Webb (Kirby Grant), of the Royal Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, and Chinook, his trusty husky dog, were the star of a series of these one hour action pieces, mainly created to compete with the likes of the Lone Ranger about 60 years ago.
In this case one mining company has been repeatedly robbed of its payroll and the guardian of the payroll murdered in each case. Webb is instructed to accompany the payroll as it makes its way via train to the mining camp. Webb is disguised as a civilian so that the criminals will make a move and they can be captured. However, while Webb is in the baggage car trying to quiet a suddenly barking Chinook, he is struck unconscious, the passenger car gassed, and when the smoke clears the payroll is missing and the man who was carrying it is dead.
Now this is where the story loses me just a bit. Webb knows he has the killer on board this moving train, but for some reason after searching the passengers, he just lets them and their cargo go on their way. I guess this was just to keep the story moving. After leaving the train, all of the previous passengers are under suspicion and all of them are doing suspicious things. Although the audience has been able to see the actual killers/robbers all through the film, only at the end are the masterminds of these crimes revealed.
This was a pretty good entry in the series. The actors are credible and the story fast-paced and of course although there's no time for character development to speak of, Grant's performance as Cpl.Rod Webb has really stood the test of time. There's plenty of gun play from ambushers and probably more fancy knife throwing than you'd normally see in a western. And as is usual in the series, Webb has the spark of a romance going with one of the characters.
The Warner Archive has restored three of these films so far - this film, "Yukon Gold", and "Northwest Territory". If you like the old westerns of sixty years ago with a little canine action and some humor thrown in, I'd recommend this series.