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Alternate Title: Road Agent
Director: Lesley Selander (Dir)
Release Date:   Feb 1952
Production Date:   31 Jul--mid-Aug 1951
Duration (in mins):   60
Duration (in feet):   5,422
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Cast:   Tim Holt (Tim Holt)  
    Linda Douglas (Peg Masters)  
    Frank Wilcox (Regan)  
    Robert Sherwood (Kenny Masters)  
    John Pickard (Dawson)  
    Kenneth MacDonald (Wheeler)  
    Wendy Waldron (Mary)  
    Patricia Wright (Katie)  
    Tom London (Old timer)  
    John Merton (Dale)  
  and Richard Martin (Chito Rafferty)  

Summary: After successfully guiding a wagon train of homesteaders to their destination, Tim Holt and his woman-crazy saddle pal, Chito Rafferty, head for the nearby town of Silver Springs. On the road, they notice a sign warning homesteaders to stay away, and when Chito tears it down, someone shoots at him. Tim and Chito chase and catch the sniper, who turns out to be a local rancher, Kenny Masters. As Kenny is defending his actions by accusing homesteaders of destroying grazing land, his gun-wielding sister Peg rides up and demands his release. Although Tim and Chito decry the Masters' attitudes, Peg also condemns the homesteaders and leaves with her brother. Later, in the Silver Springs saloon, Chito is attacked by Kenny for flirting with saloon girl Katie. Saloon owner Regan stops the fight and, after ordering Chito out, meets Kenny in his office. When Kenny informs him that the homesteaders are preparing to make claims in the area, Regan assures him that, for a price, they can be stopped. Regan and four of his men then don masks and wound Wheeler, the wagonmaster, as he is heading for town with the settlers' claims. Tim and Chito ride by just as Regan's men are stealing Wheeler's strongbox and chase them off. At the robbery site, Tim finds a gun on the ground and, suspecting that it belongs to Kenny, he and Chito go to the Masters' ranch. Kenny denies any involvement in the ambush, and the cowboys' accusations anger Peg. After Tim and Chito depart, Kenny, who dislikes ranching, begs Peg for some money, claiming that he needs it for an investment. Peg reluctantly gives him some cash, and later, Tim and Chito notice Kenny entering the saloon and follow him. Aware that Kenny is being watched, Regan uses a rigged roulette wheel to procure Kenny's payment. Tim and Chito approach and demand to know where Kenny got his gambling money. When Kenny refuses to answer, Tim displays the robbery gun, but Kenny denies owning it. Although Regan orders Dawson to start a brawl, the cowboys manage to escape the saloon unharmed. Determined to retrieve the incriminating gun, Regan sends his men after Tim and Chito, who elude them and head for the homesteaders' camp. In Silver Springs, meanwhile, Regan instructs Dawson to kill the marshal when he returns to town, so that Tim and Chito will be unable to report his crimes. Shocked by Regan's murderous intentions, Kenny tries to warn the marshal, but Regan, who suspects that Kenny's land has oil on it, threatens to harm Peg if he does. After Kenny offers to leave town if Regan promises not to hurt Peg, Regan and Dawson accompany Kenny to his ranch to ensure his departure. At the homesteader camp, Tim and Chito are surprised to find Peg tending to Wheeler's gunshot wound. Although Peg agrees to discuss the settlers' situation with the other ranchers, she leaves in a huff when Tim suggests that the gun belongs to Kenny. In town, Tim and Chito learn about the marshal's murder and, still sure that Kenny is somehow involved, head to the Masters' ranch. There, Regan and Dawson are forced to hide when Peg shows up, and Kenny takes off in his buckboard after bidding Peg a hasty goodbye. Tim and Chito see Kenny racing along the road and intercept him. Kenny confesses that he paid for Wheeler's ambush, but before he can implicate Regan, Regan and Dawson, who are hiding among some rocks, shoot him. While Tim chases after Dawson, ending up in town, Chito remains with Kenny. After Kenny dies, Regan shows himself and accuses Chito of murder, then takes him to Peg. Tim, meanwhile, tracks Dawson to the saloon and, while holding him at gunpoint in Regan's office, finds the stolen claim papers in Regan's desk. Though bound, Chito manages to escape from the ranch and races to town to warn Tim that Peg is rallying the ranchers against the homesteaders. With Dawson in tow, Tim and Chito ride to the ranch, arriving just as Regan and Peg are about to lead the attack. Tim tricks Regan into believing that Dawson is going to implicate him, and when Regan tries to flee on his horse, he is caught by Chito. Later, Peg, who has made friends with the homesteaders, asks Tim and Chito to stay on as hands. Chito is dodging a marriage-hungry settler, however, so the cowboys decline and ride off to their next adventure. 

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Lesley Selander (Dir)
  John Pommer (Asst dir)
Producer: Herman Schlom (Prod)
Writer: Arthur E. Orloff (Scr)
  William Lively (Story)
Photography: Nicholas Musuraca (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino (Art dir)
  Carroll Clark (Art dir)
Film Editor: Samuel E. Beetley (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Darrell Silvera (Set dec)
  Jack Mills (Set dec)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus)
  C. Bakaleinikoff (Mus dir)
Sound: Frank Sarver (Sd)
  Clem Portman (Sd)
  John Cass (Sd)
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 31/12/1951 dd/mm/yyyy LP1479

PCA NO: 15448
Physical Properties: Sd: RCA Sound System
  b&w:

 
Genre: Western
 
Subjects (Major): Brothers and sisters
  Cowboys
  Homesteaders
  Ranchers
  Robbery
  Saloon keepers
 
Subjects (Minor): Ambushes
  Chases
  Escapes
  Fights
  Firearms
  Flirtation
  Gunshot wounds
  Murder
  Roulette (Game)
  Wagon trains

Note: The working title of this film was Road Agent , which was also the title of a later Tim Holt-RKO western. Linda Douglas made her screen debut in the picture. HR production charts list Douglas as Mary Jo Tarola, her real name. Location shooting took place in the Santa Susana Mountains in the San Fernando Valley, according to a HR news item. Modern sources note that the production cost $89,000 to make, but still lost $20,000 at the box office. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   2 Feb 1952.   
Daily Variety   21 Jan 52   p. 3.
Film Daily   13 Feb 52   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   31 Jul 51   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Aug 51   p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Aug 51   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Aug 51   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Jan 52   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   2 Feb 52   p. 1222.
Variety   23 Jan 52   p. 22.

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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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