Cast & Crew
Lee "lasses" White
Don Cardigan and his pals, Whopper and Smokey, are riding to the mining town of Placerville to visit Don's brother Brad when they see a speeding stagecoach driven by a drunken driver. The three race to stop the stage and rescue its passenger, Jenny Blanchard, a fussy spinster. Don offers to drive Jenny into town, where she introduces him to Robinson, the manager of the stage line. After promising to visit Jenny, Don goes to meet Brad, the town marshal. At the marshal's office, Don is shocked to find a stranger masquerading as his brother. Suspicious of the newcomer, the marshal tells his deputies to investigate. After the deputies accuse Don, Whopper and Smokey of horse thievery, the three gallop out of town toward the Blanchard house. Along the trail, they are stopped by Ben Blanchard and his daughter Penny, who think that they are robbers who have been stealing the miners' gold. When Jenny vouches for their integrity, Don tells the family that the town marshal is an impostor. Realizing that the marshal must be behind the robberies, Ben and the others visit Robinson, and Don proposes a plan to protect the next shipment. Vander, Robinson's assistant and a confederate of the marshal, eavesdrops on their conversation and informs the marshal of Don's plans to re- route the gold by packhorse. That night, Vander switches the gold-laden bags with sacks of sand and leaves town with the gold on the next stage. Don, Smokey and Whopper load the bags on the horses, but when they camp for the night, one of the bags springs a leak and they realize that they are transporting sand and not gold. When the marhsal's gang attacks them and demands the gold, Don lures them into camp with a promise to turn over the worthless sacks. After running off with the gang's horses, Don and his friends escape and ride back to town, where they learn that Vander has taken the gold on the stage. They apprehend Vander on the stage, and he confesses that the marshal's name is Reynolds and offers to take them to the shack where Brad is being held. Robinson volunteers to drive the gold to safety, and Don stops by the Blanchards' to tell them that the gold shipment is safe. Relieved, Ben offers to gather the miners and meet Don at the shack. Meanwhile, Reynolds' men arrive at the marshal's office, and upon discovering that they have carried wothless bags of sand, they ride to the shack. Don, Whopper and Smokey beat them to the shack and free Brad just as Reynolds and his men arrive. Reynolds tries to smoke them out with a burning wagon, but Ben and the miners ride to the rescue and apprehend the gang. With his brother reinstated as marshal, Don and his pals return to their ranch.
Lee "lasses" White
Eddy C. Waller
Six Guns Gold
If you've never heard of Six Guns Gold that's okay. It was never meant to be a marquee movie in the first place. Movies like Six Guns Gold were of a breed no longer nurtured by Hollywood: the quickie horse opera made cheaply and efficiently to turn a buck with matinee showings, especially with kids. And like most B movies coming out of Hollywood's heyday, it's an entertaining piece of work that reminds us once again that spending all the money in the world isn't necessary to make a piece of entertainment that people will want to see.
It's probably no surprise that in a movie where the lead characters are named Don, Smokey, and Whopper, that deep emotional development isn't on the menu. What is on the menu is a healthy serving of deceit, runaway stagecoaches, robbery, and star Tim Holt, as Don, coming to the rescue more than once.
Tim Holt began his career exactly how he predicted he would, as a western star. When he was in college, according to famed director Budd Boetticcher, Holt used to walk around practicing drawing his revolvers (it was a military academy) and announcing to everyone that he would soon be a western star. With a father already in the business, Jack Holt, it wasn't exactly a tough mountain for Holt to climb but, nonetheless, it can never be said Holt didn't know his own strengths early on.
He was signed by Walter Wanger in the mid-thirties and made the rounds in some small parts in big movies, like Stella Dallas and Stagecoach. Holt, of course, liked doing westerns most of all and RKO seemed to agree, eventually starring him in dozens over the years. His biggest early break came when he got the starring role in the Orson Welles directed The Magnificent Ambersons. Being a Welles film, it didn't do as much box office as RKO had hoped, which was one of the reasons Holt got the part in the first place: to try and bring in some of his growing fan base. It didn't work but it showed just how good an actor Holt really was. Later, he would co-star with Humphrey Bogart in the great The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Not many actors can say they worked with King Vidor, John Ford, Orson Welles, and John Huston and earned the respect of all of them.
Six Guns Gold wasn't the kind of movie that was ever going to get Holt the respect he earned from those other films but like most B pictures of the thirties and forties, they were put together by a talented lot who knew how to produce something of quality quickly and efficiently. One of those people was David Howard, who started with Fox in 1930 directing Spanish language films for their markets in the southwest and Mexico. From there he made his way to RKO and B westerns before dying far too young in 1941 at the age of 45. Six Guns Gold was his penultimate film.
Another all-around talent on the set was Ray Whitley, country western singing star and expert with the bull whip. His specialty was whipping the cigarette out of a man's mouth in one stroke. No word if this had any effect on the man in question quitting the habit. He also just happened to design his own guitar which he took to the Gibson Corporation who worked with him on the model. The famous J-200 was the result and Whitley himself was the first to own and play one. Yes, the Six Guns Gold actor also had a feel for six strings as well. One other thing: Whitley wrote the iconic cowboy song, Back in the Saddle Again.
Six Guns Gold kept Tim Holt in the star's seat and after this and Magnificent Ambersons, he went to war, serving with distinction in the Pacific as a bombardier. After the war, he would work again with the great John Ford in My Darling Clementine before making the aforementioned Treasure of the Sierra Madre, his biggest hit. After that he returned to B-westerns for four years and then spent the next twenty years doing rodeos and managing a radio station. He died of bone cancer at the age of 54 but was later inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame. Six Guns Gold is a good film to watch to understand why.
By Greg Ferrara