“Roaring Rangers”

August 1, 2008

Courtesy of Les Adams

Lawlessness has run amok in Powder River. Everyone wants Sheriff Collins to quit. They even put up signs that say, “Sheriff Collins, Why Won’t You Quit?”

But his young son implores the crowd. “Wait a couple days. It’ll be alright. I’ve sent for the Durango Kid. I wrote him a letter about all the trouble we’ve been having and how much we needed him and his horse Raider.”

Someone asks the question I would ask, “Where did you send it?”

“I just addressed the letter to Texas. He’ll get it.”

Sort of like writing Santa Claus, huh?

Well, somehow, it works and the fat man himself comes riding into town, with Steve Langdon riding right beside him. Smiley is worried it’s all a joke, “I’d be madder than a bull if I thought someone was making fun of the Durango Kid.”

Steve’s cover is that he’s looking for a deputy sheriff job. “He’s an ex-Texas Ranger,” claims Smiley.

In his press, Smiley often claimed that he could play 158 musical instruments. What he means is that he can pantomime playing 158 instruments. Here it’s the flute.

Courtesy of Les Adams

The freaky fan really has Durango Fever. He’s named his horse “Little Raider”. He even has a Durango Kid scrapbook with what looks like a studio publicity shot of the Kid.

A Fake Durango shows up…and calls a town meeting? Yep. But it’s a ruse so his friends can rob the bank. He betrays the little boy’s trust and even shoots him in the back.

There’s a petition to remove the Sheriff and Steve does his civic duty, dressing up as Durango and riding around sticking guns in people’s faces, threatening to kill them if they sign it.

The bad guys catch Smiley and they’re going to kill them. Trying to buy time, Smiley suggests that they torture him for a couple of hours. Things are looking good, then Steve ruins everything! The Real Durango captures the Fake Durango.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Smiley gloats, “There’s only one Durango Kid and you’re not him.”

Music is by Merle Travis and his Bronco Busters.


2 Responses to ““Roaring Rangers””

  1. Mike Newton said

    Roaring Rangers marks the debut of Smiley Burnette in the series and also the first DK script by Barry Shipman. Dub Taylor had been doing the comedy for the series, but left to go to Monogram to appear with Jimmy Wakely. The studio execs must have given Smiley a big buildup. He gets his own screen credit on a separate screen and the billing “The West’s No. 1 Comic.” His comedy and music often dominated the action, leading to a strained relationship between he and Starrett. He was to remain with Starrett until the series ended in 1952, before reuniting with Gene Autry.

  2. This is certainly the second article, of your site I actually read.
    Yet I actually enjoy this specific 1, “Roaring Rangers Charles Starrett – One Fan’s Journey” the best. Thanks -Mahalia

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