Best Western Movies of 1940
The Grapes of Wrath
Tom Joad returns to his home after a jail sentence to find his family kicked out of their farm due to foreclosure. He catches up with them on his Uncle’s farm, and joins them the next day as they head for California and a new life... Hopefully.
The Mark of Zorro
Around 1820 the son of a California nobleman comes home from Spain to find his native land under a villainous dictatorship. On the one hand he plays the useless fop, while on the other he is the masked avenger Zorro.
McMasters and Sand come to oil towns to get rich. Betsy comes West intending to marry Sand but marries McMasters instead. Getting rich and losing it all teaches McMasters and Sand the value of personal ties.
Drifter Cole Harden is accused of stealing a horse and faces hanging by self-appointed Judge Roy Bean, but Harden manages to talk his way out of it by claiming to be a friend of stage star Lillie Langtry, with whom the judge is obsessed, even though he has never met her. Tensions rise when Harden comes to the defense of a group of struggling homesteaders who Judge Bean is trying to drive away.
My Little Chickadee
While on her way by stagecoach to visit relatives out west, Flower Belle Lee is held up by a masked bandit who also takes the coach's shipment of gold. When he abducts Flower Belle and they arrive in town, Flower Belle is suspected of being in collusion with the bandit.
Embezzler, shill, all around confidence man S. Quentin Quale is heading west to find his fortune; he meets the crafty but simple brothers Joseph and Rusty Panello in a train station, where they steal all his money. They're heading west, too, because they've heard you can just pick the gold off the ground. Once there, they befriend an old miner named Dan Wilson whose property, Dead Man's Gulch, has no gold. They loan him their last ten dollars so he can go start life anew, and for collateral, he gives them the deed to the Gulch. Unbeknownst to Wilson, the son of his longtime rival, Terry Turner (who's also in love with his daughter, Eva), has contacted the railroad to arrange for them to build through the land, making the old man rich and hopefully resolving the feud. But the evil Red Baxter, owner of a saloon, tricks the boys out of the deed, and it's up to them - as well as Quale, who naturally finds his way out west anyway - to save the day.
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from a Confederate prison and races to intercept $5 million in gold destined for Confederate coffers. A Confederate sympathizer and a Mexican bandit, each with their own stake in the loot, stand in his way.
Based on the Kenneth Roberts novel of the same name, this film tells the story of two friends who join Rogers' Rangers, as the legendary elite force engages the enemy during the French and Indian War. The film focuses on their famous raid at Fort St. Francis and their marches before and after the battle.
When transplanted Texan Bob Seton arrives in Lawrence, Kansas he finds much to like about the place, especially Mary McCloud, daughter of the local banker. Politics is in the air however. It's just prior to the civil war and there is already a sharp division in the Territory as to whether it will remain slave-free. When he gets the opportunity to run for marshal, Seton finds himself running against the respected local schoolteacher, William Cantrell. Not is what it seems however. While acting as the upstanding citizen in public, Cantrell is dangerously ambitious and is prepared to do anything to make his mark, and his fortune, on the Territory. When he loses the race for marshal, he forms a group of raiders who run guns into the territory and rob and terrorize settlers throughout the territory. Eventually donning Confederate uniforms, it is left to Seton and the good citizens of Lawrence to face Cantrell and his raiders in one final clash.
The Return of Frank James
Farmer Frank and his ward hunt brother Jesse's killers, the back-shooting Fords.
North West Mounted Police
Texas Ranger Dusty Rivers ("Isn't that a contradiction in terms?", another character asks him) travels to Canada in the 1880s in search of Jacques Corbeau, who is wanted for murder. He wanders into the midst of the Riel Rebellion, in which Métis (people of French and Native heritage) and Natives want a separate nation. Dusty falls for nurse April Logan, who is also loved by Mountie Jim Brett. April's brother is involved with Courbeau's daughter Louvette, which leads to trouble during the battles between the rebels and the Mounties. Through it all Dusty is determined to bring Corbeau back to Texas (and April, too, if he can manage it.)
Phoebe Titus is a tough, swaggering pioneer woman, but her ways become decidedly more feminine when she falls for California bound Peter Muncie. But Peter won't be distracted from his journey and Phoebe is left alone and plenty busy with villains Jefferson Carteret and Lazarus Ward plotting at every turn to destroy her freighting company. She has not seen the last of Peter, however.
Santa Fe Trail
As a penalty for fighting fellow classmates days before graduating from West Point, J.E.B. Stuart, George Armstrong Custer and four friends are assigned to the 2nd Cavalry, stationed at Fort Leavenworth. While there they aid in the capture and execution of the abolitionist, John Brown following the Battle of Harper's Ferry.
Based on the story of the famous Mormon leader, it follows Brigham Young and his challenge to transport his people across the Rocky mountains to settle in Salt Lake City. The plot focuses on two fictitious characters, Jonathan Kent and Zina Webb and the hardships they have to face along the way.
Santa Fe Marshal
U.S. Marshal Hopalong Cassidy is called when a town becomes overun with bad guys. Disguised as a member of a medicine show, Hoppy discovers that the ringleader is none other than sweet li'l ol' Ma Burton.
A lawyer by training, Bob Millburne (Don "Red" Barry) believes in relying on the legal system to exact justice. But he can no longer sate his thirst for vengeance, fueled by the death of his parents at the hands of a bloodthirsty mine jumper. Frustrated and fed up, Bob decides it's time to dust off his guns and holsters.
The Fargo Kid
The Fargo Kid is mistaken for a killer and is hired to kill another man...
Three Men From Texas
Hoppy and new sidekick California Carlson head to California to help out Lucky Jenkins.
The Border Legion
Wanted by the law in New York, Dr. Steve Kells heads west and arrives in an area controlled by an outlaw gang known as the Border Legion. When the gang's boss is wounded, they kidnap Kells and force him to remove the bullet. Not allowed to leave and being a wanted man, he joins the gang. Now wanted as a gang member also, he nevertheless plans a raid that will lead the entire gang into a trap.
When the Daltons Rode
Young lawyer Tod Jackson arrives in pioneer Kansas to visit his prosperous rancher friends the Daltons, just as the latter are in danger of losing their land to a crooked development company. When Tod tries to help them, a faked murder charge turns the Daltons into outlaws, but more victims than villains in this fictionalized version. Will Tod stay loyal to his friends despite falling in love with Bob Dalton's former fiancée Julie?
20 Mule Team
It is 1892 in Death Valley and the yields from the Borax ore are getting so small that refining it is a losing proposition. The only thing that will save the company is a new deposit of high grade Borax, and Skinner Bill Bragg has a pouch of it that he got from a dead prospector he buried on the road. Stag Roper knows the value of the strike could be worth millions, but he needs Bragg to find the prospector's claim so they can record it and become rich partners. While Roper has no intention of cutting Bragg in on the millions, he also has his eye on young Jean Johnson. Josie Johnson, Jean's mother, sees Roper as the scalawag he is, and that means trouble in Furnace Flat.
European bad guy Baron Bendor leads some local townsmen in a plot to obtain horses through theft. Hoppy and his sidekicks Lucky and Speedy must find and expose the horse thieves.
Richard Dix stars as Dave Morrell, the new marshal of Goliath, Oklahoma. Immediately upon arrival, Morrell finds himself at odds with banker Coy Barrett (Victor Jory), who is actually the leader of all local criminal activities.
Hoppy and Lucky have been called in to investigate a series of stage holdups. The robbers are taking gold from Colby's mine and Hoppy suspects it may be ex-outlaw Colby himself. When Speedy strikes gold, Hoppy borrows it and announces a gold shipment hoping to catch the gang and their leader.
Judge Curry is selling Austin's land to nesters and his men are rustling his cattle to provide beef. When the Sheriff accuses butcher Gore of possessing stolen beef, Gore kills him. Curry then holds a quick election to change the county seat so he can preside at the trial. But Brill gets the Governor to change it back and this leads to the big shootout between Curry's men and Brill and the ranchers.
The Range Busters
A Phantom is murdering the hands at the Circle T Ranch. The Range Busters are recruted by the owner of the Circle T to stop the Phantom and discover his identity. (First film in the Range Buster series.)
Under Texas Skies
The story opens as Stony returns to his home town, only to discover that his sheriff father has been murdered by person or persons unknown. The new sheriff (Henry Brandon) resents the arrival of the Mesquiteers, going so far as to frame Tucson on a murder charge.
Frontiersman Kit Carson fights off Indian attacks on the trail to California.
The Carson City Kid
The Carson City Kid and partner Laramie are outlaws. When his partner is caught the Kid, his identity being unknown, takes a job in Jessup's saloon. Here he see Jessup cheat Waren out of his money. Warren then robs Jessup posing as the Kid but gets caught. To gain his freedom, Laramie identifies Warren as the Kid. Realizing Jessup is the man that killed his brother, the Kid must find a way to clear Warren and get Jessup.
Billy the Kid in Texas
In the second of the "Billy the Kid" series from PRC that starred Bob Steele, Billy the Kid is being held on a trumped-up murder charge in a Mexico jail. He escapes and meets his pal, Fuzzy Jones, in Corral City, Texas, which is taking a holiday to allow the cowpunchers of the Lazy A Ranch their periodic spree. In the saloon, Billy is recognized by Dave Hendricks and Flash, two the Lazy A's bed men, as the rider who had held them up after they had robbed the express wagon a few hours earlier. Outside, Billy is ambushed and slightly wounded, and is taken to the express office by Jim Morgan where Mary Barton, the local agent, agrees to tend him until the doctor arrives. Billy turns over the loot he took from the outlaws and he is appointed sheriff, with Fuzzy as his deputy. The Lazy A gang brings in a noted gunfighter, Gil Cooper, who turns out to be Billy's brother. Billy, Gil and Fuzzy eventually rout the outlaw gang, and Gil remains behind with Mary as Billy and Fuzzy ride off.
An escaped criminal pretends to be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in order to prove his innocence of murder. Star Dennis Morgan plays two roles.
The Tulsa Kid
A protegee of notorious outlaw Montana (Beery), young Tom Benton decides to stay on the good side of the Law upon reaching maturity. Montana, however, has no such inclination to reform, the result being a climactic gun duel between the ageing gunman and his former pupil.
With the army after him and his partner deserting, Reb decides that a change of scenery would be nice so he heads for Wyoming with Dave.
Trouble in Colorado is tying up Union troops needed back east during the Civil War and Lieut. Burke is sent to investigate. Macklin and his gang are causing the problems and Capt. Mason joins them. When Burke catches up with them he also finds Mason, his brother.
His Arizona hometown of Torpedo invites Gene back to be the honorary sheriff of the Frontier Days Celebration.
The Texas Rangers Ride Again
With thousands of cattle being rustled from White Sage ranch the 1930's Texas Rangers are called in. They manage to get one of their agents into the gang by making them think he is the Pecos Kid on the lam.
After a trip to Hollywood, two young ladies attempt to hitchhike home but end up at a star filled rodeo.
Rangers of Fortune
Fred MacMurray stars as a US Army misfit who, with pals Albert Dekker and Gilbert Roland, roam the west in search of adventure. Arriving in a small town, they befriend the elderly newspaper editor (Arthur Allen) and his young granddaughter (Betty Brewer). The trio learns that the community is under the thumb of a covetous land baron (Joseph Schildkraut), who is endeavoring to push out the ranch owners and take over the territory.
Queen of the Yukon
The owner of an Alaskan gambling boat and her business partner help thwart a crooked businessman who attempts to steal claims from local miners.
Legion of the Lawless
Residents of a small frontier town take up arms when vigilantes try to block a railroad right-of-way.
Bad Man from Red Butte
A cowboy arrives in a town, and is immediately mistaken for his twin brother who is wanted for murder.
Lucky Cisco Kid
Cisco and Gordito arrive to find there is an outlaw operating in the area who is assumed to be the Cisco Kid. When a reward is offered for his capture and a large shipment of money goes out, Cisco is on hand. Seeing the gang rob the stage he goes after them only to be wounded. The gang leader leaves Cisco's handkerchief at the scene and now he is wanted for the murder he tried to break up.
The Man from Dakota
A frontier scout, a Boston officer and a Russian girl escape with a map past Confederates.
Protecting himself in an attack by rustlers, Rancher Steve Holden believes he has killed one of the attackers, young Bud Mathews, who in reality has warned Holden of the rustlers' approach. Unaware that Mathews was actually killed by rustler boss Cass Barton, Holden heads out to Mathews' home town where he plans to tell the boy's family of his death but instead uncovers a plan by a local businessman to force Mathews' father out of his ranch.
Sgt. Renfrew and Constable Kelly go aloft to search for a plane missing with a shipment of gold from the Yukon Mine Company. Inventor Speavy has devised a power ray which disrupts electrical impulses, and Morgan and his gang of crooks has brought in Prof. Lewis to increase the ray's range, telling him he's helping the government develop this new weapon. Speavy spills the beans to Prof. Lewis and his daughter Madeleine,and Morgan threatens to implicate them in his crimes unless they cooperate. Morgan kills Speavy when he tries to warn Renfrew, but when Madeleine stows away on board the doomed plane Renfrew is piloting, will the crooks be able to make Prof. Lewis use the power ray to bring the plane down?
Viva Cisco Kid
Cisco saves a stagecoach from being robbed and takes a shine to one of the passengers whose father is in cahoots with a vicious criminal who plans to murder him.
Stage to Chino
To investigate a gold-shipping scam, a postal inspector goes undercover and tries to infiltrate the gang he believes is responsible.
In his first starring Western for RKO, young Tim Holt must not only carry on his father's freight business but also hunt down his murderer. A certain Matt Gardner (Cliff Clark) wants to corner the freight business to Pecos and persuades young Zack Sibley's wagon master (Wade Crosby) to switch sides. Zack also earns the enmity of Gardner's son Coe (Malcolm McTaggart), who takes umbrage to the youngster's flirtation with pretty Helen Lee (Martha O'Driscoll). It all comes to a head during a food shortage in Pecos, a near-disaster that persuades the wagon master to switch sides once again. When the dust settles, Zack learns that old man Gardner is actually Carl Anderson, the man who murdered his father.
Arizona Gang Busters
Arizona Gang Busters is another pre-WWII saber-rattler that finds a band of renegade gunmen, under the pretense of developing an irrigation project for the reclamation of arid desert land, using airplanes and parachute jumpers to gather valuable military information for a European power.
Young Bill Hickok
Bill Hickok, assisted by Calamity Jane, is after a foreign agent and his guerrilla band who are trying to take over some western territory just as the Civil War is coming to a close.