Oath of Vengeance
Sigmund Neufeld for PRC
directed by Sam Newfield
starring Buster Crabbe (= Larry Crabbe), Al St. John, Mady Lawrence, Jack Ingram, Charles King, Marin Sais, Karl Hackett, Kermit Maynard, Hal Price, Frank Ellis, Jimmy Aubrey, Hank Bell, Ralph Bucko, John L.Cason, Dee Cooper, Jack Evans, Morgan Flowers, Augie Gomez, Herman Hack, Ray Henderson, Jack Kinney, Frank McCarroll, Tex Palmer, Rose Plumer, Jack Tornek, Wally West
written by Fred Myton
Billy Carson, Fuzzy
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Fuzzy (Al St.John) decides it's time to give up his life on the road,
and thus he buys himself a hardware store and settles down in a small
village to lead a peaceful life - but in the small village he has picked,
he's far from achieving that goal because there's a range war going on,
settlers versus ranchers, with the ranchers accusing the settlers of
rustling and using gunpower to make their point, and the settlers picking
up their guns to defend themselves. Nobody, it seems, is to eager to
settle the dispute peacefully, and nobody seems to ask who's behind it all
... because the real baddie of the piece is banker Steve Kinney (Jack
Ingram), who has given out generous loans to everyone, ranchers and
settlers alike, and who figures a rangewar will leave him with everyone's
land. And to ensure the rangewar doesn't end prematurely, his head
henchmen Mort (Charles King) does everything in his power to keep things
cooking - including murdering a cowhand and pinning the murder on one of
the settlers, Dan (Karl Hackett). He tries to then get the cattle folks to
form a mob and have Dan Hackett lynched, and when Dan's friends Billy
Carson (Buster Crabbe) and Fuzzy prevent that, he has Dan sprung out of
prison and starts nasty rumours. But Billy and especially Fuzzy have long
figured out that Kinney is behind all this, and after a final shootout and
fistfight, they manage to bring him to justice.
Mady Lawrence plays the
female leader of the cattlemen who listens to Kinney's accusations way too
long, but in the end she falls for Billy Carson, of course.
Ok entry in PRC's
Billy Carson series, with Al St.John proving once again why
he's considered one of the best sidekicks of the series: He is not just
responsible for the funny bits (like Smiley Burnett for example) but
really carries the plot - without outshining Buster Crabbe -, and it's
also him who figures out Kinney's plot first and he also delivers the
final blow against Kinney. Other than that, the film might not exactly be
great, but despite its obviously low budget, it's among the better
B-Westerns of the 1940's.