AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Dude Cowboy
Director: David Howard (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Dec 1941
Production Date:   24 Apr--early May 1941
Duration (in mins):   59
Duration (in feet):   5,286
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Cast:   Tim Holt (Terry McVey)  
    Marjorie Reynolds (Barbara Adams)  
    Ray Whitley (Smokey)  
    Lee "Lasses" White (Whopper Hatch)  
    Louise Currie (Gail Sergeant)  
    Helen Holmes (Miss Carter)  
    Eddie Kane (Gordon West)  
    Eddie Dew (French)  
    Byron Foulger (Frank Adams)  
    Tom London (Sheriff)  
    Lloyd Ingraham (Pop Stebbens)  
    Glenn Strange (Krinkle)  
    Herman Nowlin (Curly)  
    Dennis Moore (Johnny)  
    Earle Hodgins (Steve Crockett)  
    Jane Keckley (Amy)  
    Hank Worden (Homer)  
    Harry Harvey (Auctioneer)  
    Frank O'Connor (Sampson)  
    John Ince (Daggett)  
    James Carlisle (Rawlins)  
    Harry Denny (Minister)  
    Stuart Richards (Station agent)  
    Kathleen Ellis (Secretary)  
    Jane Woodworth    
    Jane Patten    

Summary: When Frank Adams, a government engraver, disappears in Nevada, treasury agent Steve Crockett turns to his nephew, Terry McVey, for help. Counterfeit bills bearing Adams' signature are circulating in the town of Silver City, Nevada, prompting Steve to surmise that the counterfeiters have been using the casino at the Silver Bar Guest Ranch to launder money. Because Terry owns a ranch in the area, Steve asks him to go to Silver City and investigate. Soon after Terry leaves his uncle's office, Barbara Adams, the missing man's daughter, visits the agent and sees a note on his desk with the name "Silver Bar Guest Ranch" written on it. In search of her father, Barbara takes the next train to Silver City, where she registers at the ranch using the alias Barbara Allen. Meanwhile, Terry has also arrived in Silver City and tries to recruit his friends Smokey and Whopper Hatch, to join the investigation. Smokey and Whopper, the proprietors of a traveling medicine show, are reluctant to help their friend until they are all jailed for disturbing the peace and the judge forces them to sell their medicine wagon to pay their fine. Miss Carter and Gail Sergeant, guests at the dude ranch who are also admirers of Smokey and Whopper, hire the unemployed trio to entertain at the ranch. There, Terry discovers that chips at the casino are being exchanged for counterfeit money. The leader of the ring is Gordon West, the owner of the ranch. When West's henchman, French, takes his daily ride, Barbara, hoping that he will lead her to her father, follows him. Terry also follows French, who leads them to the cave where Adams is being held. Inside the cave, Barbara inadvertently knocks over a barrel, alerting the gang to her presence. After Barbara is captured by the gang, Terry rides back to the ranch, where he instructs Whopper and Smokey to wait in the bunkhouse while he calls Steve in Reno. As Terry begins to dial his uncle's number, French returns to the ranch and cuts the phone wires. After Gail tells Terry that Barbara's last name is really Adams, he realizes that she must be Frank Adams' daughter, but before he can relay the information to Reno, Terry and his friends are taken prisoner by West's gang and sequestered in the bunkhouse. When Miss Carter, who has a crush on Whopper, pounds on the bunkhouse door, demanding to see him, Terry uses the diversion to pull a fake stick of dynamite from his pocket and threatens to throw it in the fire unless their captors surrender their guns. Terry then instructs Pop Stebbens, the new owner of the medicine wagon, to ride to town for the sheriff while he, Smokey and Whopper take the wagon and rescue Adams. At the cave, the three shoot it out with the counterfeiters until the sheriff and his posse come to their aid. With West and his gang under arrest, Miss Carter buys the Silver Bar and offers Whopper the job of foreman. Whopper accepts her offer until he realizes that marriage is part of the job description. 

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: David Howard (Dir)
  Kenneth Holmes (Asst dir)
Producer: Bert Gilroy (Prod)
Writer: Morton Grant (Story and scr)
Photography: Harry Wild (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase (Art dir)
  Walter E. Keller (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Frederic Knudtson (Ed)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus dir)
Sound: John C. Grubb (Rec)
Country: United States

Songs: "Silver Rio," "Dude Cowboy," "End of the Canyon Trail" and "Echo Singing in the Wild Wind," words and music by Fred Rose and Ray Whitley.
Composer: Fred Rose
  Ray Whitley

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures Corp. 12/9/1941 dd/mm/yyyy LP10986

PCA NO: 7300
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Western
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Counterfeiters and counterfeiting
  Dude ranches
  Kidnapping
  Missing persons
 
Subjects (Minor): Casinos
  Caves
  Fathers and daughters
  Gunfights
  Medicine shows
  Nevada
  Sheriffs
  Uncles
  United States. Treasury Department

Note: Although an early HR production chart lists Albert D'Agostino as art director, his participation in the final film is doubtful. According to a news item in HR , this was the first of three Tim Holt pictures to be filmed consecutively with no more than a twenty-four hour layoff between each. This was the first Holt picture to be directed by David Howard. Previous Holt films had been directed by Edward Killy. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   6 Sep 1941.   
Daily Variety   5 Sep 1941.   
Film Daily   6 Sep 41   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Apr 41   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   9 May 41   p. 24.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   6 Sep 41   p. 246.
Variety   10 Sep 41   p. 16.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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