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Frontier Badmen (1943)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 6 August 1943 (USA)
A group of cowboys ending their cattle drive in Abilene find that cattle prices are being kept artificially low, driving down the price they'll get for their beef. They set out to change the situation.


, (uncredited)


(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) (as Morgan B. Cox)


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Cast overview:
Chango (as Lon Chaney)
Dad Courtwright


A group of cowboys ending their cattle drive in Abilene find that cattle prices are being kept artificially low, driving down the price they'll get for their beef. They set out to change the situation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A country-side up in arms...whole towns terror-stricken...as the most daring desperados in history strike again! (original poster) See more »


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Bandit des Grenzlandes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edited into The Daltons Ride Again (1945) See more »


Oh, Susannah
Written by Stephen Foster
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User Reviews

Lon Chaney gets special billing in typical henchman role
29 July 2011 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

During the war years at Universal, Lon Chaney enjoyed special status as a horror star, and received guest star billing in non horror fare such as this above average Western helmed by action specialist Ford Beebe, who did his share of terrors ("Night Monster," "Son of Dracula," and "The Invisible Man's Revenge"). 1943's "Frontier Badmen" was the fifth of the actor's six Westerns during his Universal period, preceded by "Riders of Death Valley" (a 12 chapter serial), "Badlands of Dakota," "North to the Klondike," "Overland Mail" (a 15 chapter serial, Chaney's last), and followed by "The Daltons Ride Again" in 1945. "Frontier Badmen" stands a cut above the others, with Chaney billed in the ads as 'Chango, the Mad Killer!' but deservedly listed seventh for his disappointingly small role as the clean-shaven, guitar-strumming, sharp-shooting henchman of boss man Thomas Gomez, no better or larger than dozens of similar parts he had done in his early struggling years. 1943 was his busiest year for the studio, with solid horror titles like "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" and "Son of Dracula" followed by the one reel short "What We Are Fighting For," the Maria Montez color fantasy "Cobra Woman," this Western, the comedy "Crazy House," "The Mummy's Ghost," the all-star extravaganza "Follow the Boys," and finally "Calling Dr. Death" and "Weird Woman," which began the Inner Sanctum series (Lon certainly didn't lack for variety at the time, but was only the star in the horror titles). Although "Frontier Badmen" was clearly a 'B,' Ford Beebe was a longtime specialist in fast paced action, the exceptional cast including Noah Beery Jr., in love with Anne Gwynne, who is in love with Robert Paige, who hangs out with Diana Barrymore. Lest one think it's all romance, the plot involves a Texas cattle drive along the Chisholm trail, discovering a black market in Abilene, earning $11.00 a head while someone else sells them for $23.00, for a neat $12.00 profit. Comic banter is provided by old pros Leo Carrillo, whip wielding Andy Devine, and knife throwing Cherokee Frank Lackteen. Thomas Gomez is very much typecast as chief villain, but Chaney's role is so underwhelming that one wonders why he was never cast as the top heavy in any of his Universal Westerns (much of his footage finds him strumming his guitar, whistling to the tune of "Beautiful Dreamer"). Even his pool shooting game with Robert Paige fails to raise much excitement, but he surely must have enjoyed saddling up again alongside old buddies Noah Beery Jr. and Andy Devine (Beery and Gomez would rejoin Chaney for 1945's "The Daltons Ride Again").

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