Rough Riders of Durango (1951) Poster

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Cricket Is No Nugget
krorie16 September 2006
This action-packed Rocky Lane oater is a good one with one flaw, Nugget Clark (Eddy Waller) is missing. And though Cricket Adams (Walter Baldwin) has some humorous lines, his continual griping and cantankerousness becomes grating after awhile. In pre-Nugget Clark days, veteran character actor Tom London was a suitable Nugget Clark type for Rocky. Too bad he wasn't used this time.

The story by M. Coates Webster is not as cliché-ridden as many of the B western scripts of the day. Rocky, undercover as usual, seeks to find those who killed his friend and who are behind a rash of robberies in the vicinity (Durango is not mentioned). The sheriff, Bill Walters (Ross Ford), has his hands full since the ranchers stand to lose their land if the money to pay their bank mortgages doesn't make it through. Cricket Adams is against the sheriff but his niece, Janis (Aline Towne), is in love with the lawman. Rocky shows up to help the sheriff and in the process persuades Cricket to favor the budding romance between the sheriff and Janis Adams. The plot centers on $40,000 being hidden in a feed sack amidst numerous others in Cricket's barn with both the outlaws and Rocky trying to determine which sack contains the stolen money.

There is plenty of action and fancy stunt work to entertain the fans with a protracted fisticuffs near the end between Rocky and the boss outlaw, John Blake (Steve Darrell). Republic was adept at showing the cowboy stars at their best when riding in pursuit of the bad guys. Rocky astride his stallion, Black Jack, chasing the outlaws was always a high point of the Allan Rocky Lane features.

Rocky had a nervous habit of pulling at his gloves. Whether this was intended by the director is unknown. But it didn't subtract from his popular appeal at the box office. "Rough Riders of Durango" is one of Rocky's best outings.
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"Get out of there, or I'll fill you full o' lead".
classicsoncall27 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
When one of Rocky Lane's courier buddies is shot and killed, the cowboy hero heads off to the town of Durango to help avenge his friend and get the goods on the bad guys who are looting local wagon trains and creating general havoc. It's true as another reviewer points out, that the town of Durango is never mentioned by name, however one of the local businesses names the town in the latter part of the movie. In the main plot of the story, local ranchers must wait a week for a forty thousand dollar payload to arrive in town in order to make their mortgage payments, and my timing in watching the film had me chuckling each time Sheriff Walters (Ross Ford) reassured the ranchers with "The money will be here in time". It was like listening to a bunch of hot shot bankers who created the sub prime mortgage mess telling us that everything was really OK, until of course, it wasn't.

Here's something to think about - when Rocky arrived in town and filled Sheriff Walters in on how his money pouch was stolen, they watch as Cricket Adams (Walter Baldwin) goes into a store across the street from the jail. The sheriff states that they could go out to Cricket's farm to look for the strongbox that the outlaws probably hid there. However Rocky was a stranger to Durango and didn't know any of it's residents, while the sheriff couldn't know Rocky was referring to Cricket's farm. Lucky guess? - I don't think so. Or how about Rocky sliding across the dirt to escape a bad guy bullet at Cricket's farm? When he gets up, his shirt isn't even dusty! Now there's a super power I didn't know cowboys had. And say, wasn't that an awful big ranch house old Cricket had for a corn farmer?

I guess that's what makes a lot of these old 'B' oaters so entertaining, even when a lot of thought wasn't put into the story line. What you need to do is concentrate on the cowboy hero, and in this one, Rocky's always well poised with his manner and his fists. I especially enjoyed his wild brawl with villain Blake (Steve Darrell) in the local saloon, making great use of breakaway props and furniture, along with that great rescue aboard Black Jack when Cricket's buckboard took off in an early scene. Also gratifying to see that the story's hero passes on making a play for the rancher's niece (Aline Towne), deferring to the sheriff instead. Makes it a whole lot easier to move along at the end of the story.
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Excellent cast with excellent script: Republic quality
morrisonhimself14 December 2014
Rocky Lane looked good on a horse. For that matter, he looked good in any setting.

Aline Towne was a good-looking and capable actress, and it's too bad we don't have more performances by her.

Walter Baldwin was simply great as the cantankerous uncle who dislikes the "pipsqueak" sheriff, ably played by Ross Ford, who is not very well known today but should be.

The script by M. Coates Webster is far above average, with excellent dialog in a good story.

Republic had its usual superlative action well directed by Fred C. Brannon and performed by the usual great stuntmen.

I saw this at YouTube in December of 2014 and again had the problem of too dark a picture. But that's my only complaint.

I highly recommend "Rough Riders of Durango" and am grateful to all the people responsible for its being available.
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More of the same. Names have changed to protect the unoriginal.
mark.waltz16 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Aline Towne is the pretty farm girl and cantankerous Walter Baldwin is her uncle, a feisty farm owner named Cricket who involves sheriff Allan "Rocky" Lane in an attempt to uncover a racket of thieves stealing from all the local farmers. This is more standard fare, an entertaining B grade western that won't task the viewer for any longer than it was welcome. Even as TV rose from its infancy and provided similar programming for free (including broadcasts of similar westerns made almost 20 years before), Hollywood studios were turning these out, with Republic studio pretty much the last one standing to film these and Saturday morning serials. Lane is as good a western hero as they come, but there's still really no challenge here, and by the time it's over, the viewer must be ready and hopeful for something more substantial.
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