19 June 2008 | revtg1-2
Oliver Stone could not have deviated further from the truth.
From the opening shots through every scene acted out afterward NOTHING that is depicted in this movie EVER happened. It is a worse distortion than "Tombstone." I don't know where to start. For openers, the actor portraying McNelly admonishes a Ranger who is about to leave the service that he is "riding a Ranger horse and saddle, wearing Ranger clothes and carrying a Ranger gun," and if he leaves he will be arrested for theft. Anyone who knows squat about the Rangers of that day knows they had to bring their own horse, tack, weapons and clothes and then they would be considered for the service. Using Ranger badges for target practice is absurd beyond words. At that time the Rangers HAD NO badges. Just a letter stating they were Rangers. The makers of this movie either did not know or care. All a Ranger had to do to quit is ride away with what he brought. Also, John "King" Fisher was not a Mexican. He never shot down a crowd at a cattle auction. Leander McNelly's assignment in the Nueces Strip was to stop Mexican raiders from stealing cattle in Texas. His run in with John "King" Fisher was incidental and no shots were fired. McNelly and his men rode out to Fisher's ranch, arrested him and turned him over to a local sheriff. Days later they met Fisher and some of his men on the trail. Turns out Fisher had a friend who was a local judge and the judge let him bond out. McNelly had no authority to override that and Fisher went free for a time. The Black man McNelly took into his band was a former slave named Ben Kinchlow. He was hired as a tracker at no pay,just meals and equipment. When the shooting started between McNelly and the Mexican raiders, Kinchlow held the horses. The Mexican General was an officer in the Ruales, not the Mexican army, and he had no connection with Fisher. He was killed in the first shoot out with McNelly's men. The pistols McNelly's men used were black powder five shot revolvers. The pistols used in the movie had not been invented at the time. The rifles they used were single shot, black powder muzzle loaders. It wasn't until around three years after McNelly raided Mexico that the Rangers were given 1873 Winchesters. Over all the movie is an almost amusing "western" shoot-'em-up. The kind kids paid 15 cents to see back in the 1950s. It has nothing to do with the Texas Rangers. I don't know where the movie was filmed, but I know the land from Corpus Christi to Brownsville to the Rio Grande and is is an ancient sea bed, flat as a football field as far as you can see. This movie could have been titled "Leo Gorcey and the Dead End Kids" and the title would have been no more non-related than calling it "Texas Rangers."