Cast & Crew
After cattle rustlers kill his friend rancher Clint Patterson, cowboy Walt rides to El Rio to fetch the marshal, his uncle Bill. Walt explains that Clint's niece, good-natured cowgirl Mary Patterson, will now be left alone to manage the family ranch, then asks Bill to free Mary's brother Steve, who is in Bill's custody, to help run the ranch, promising to take responsibility for Steve should he revert to the criminal habits for which he was jailed. Bill releases him, but before Steve returns to the ranch, members of his old gang, Drago, Corey Blake, Ray and several others, dupe Steve into hiring them as ranchhands, by vowing that they have become honest men. Days later, at the Patterson Ranch, while Steve is branding cattle, Drago, Ray and several henchmen steal Walt's West range herd and prepare to resell them by changing the cattle's brand. As Walt and Mexican cowboy Si Si, along with several cowhands, track the rustlers, Si Si surmises that the rustlers came from the Patterson Ranch, but Walt does not believe him. Meanwhile, Drago and Corey return to the Patterson Ranch, and when Steve questions them about their suspicious behavior, they threaten to harm him unless he keeps quiet about his suspicions. Walt arrives soon after to report that rustlers have stolen his herd and, noting the lather on Steve's horses, inquires about Steve's ranchhands. Steve makes an excuse, telling Walt that the men were gathering stray cattle. Mary, unaware of her brother's criminal record, invites Walt and Si Si to a birthday party she is throwing for Steve. After Walt and Mary leave, Steve, now realizing that Drago and Corey are the rustlers, attempts to fire them, but Drago threatens to tell Mary about Steve's past unless Steve allows them to continue their rustling operation. Steve, unable to carry firearms because of his probation, is forced to accept the situation. Later, cattle buyer Simmons brings Drago payment for Walt's herd and Drago instructs him to leave the money in the barn for the next shipment. On the evening of Steve's birthday party, Drago and Corey rustle another herd and, hearing gunfire, Walt, Si Si and Bill chase Drago and his men. A shootout ensues and when Walt and his men catch Corey, Bill recognizes the rustler as one of Drago's cohorts. When Si Si informs him that Drago is working for the Pattersons, Bill assumes that Steve must be in league with the rustlers. However, Walt staunchly defends Steve and convinces Bill to let him talk to Steve alone first. Later when Steve refuses to tell the truth to Walt, a fistfight ensues between the men. Mary interrupts the fight and Walt apologizes to her, then leaves. Frustrated that he cannot be truthful with Mary or Walt, Steve retrieves a hidden gun and leaves seeking vengeance. Meanwhile, Drago has ambushed Bill and Si Si on their way to the Patterson Ranch. When Drago shoots at Bill, Bill pretends to be hit and identifies Drago before he rides off. Nearby, Walt spots Steve galloping down the trail and watches as Mary falls off her horse trying to follow her brother. Mary explains that Steve is now armed and, after Walt helps Mary back on her horse, he chases Steve. When Si Si and Bill spot Mary on the trail, Mary directs them to follow Steve to the line shack. Before the others arrive, Steve holds Drago and his men at gunpoint and orders them to leave town, holding them at gunpoint, but Drago and Ray shoot Steve and flee. Walt, Bill and Si Si arrive soon after and Steve reveals that Drago is the head of the rustlers. Later that afternoon at the Patterson Ranch, Walt spots Simmons leaving money for Drago. As Walt holds him at gunpoint, Simmons admits that the stolen cattle are in the Flats. Walt, Bill and Si Si take Simmons to the Flats after which a shootout with Drago, Ray and several henchmen ensues. After Simmons is killed, Drago flees on horseback with Walt in pursuit. Walt chases Drago to an abandoned building where he kills Drago in a shootout. Meanwhile, the wounded Steve, who feels guilty about bringing trouble to his family ranch, arrives at the Flats to help out Bill and Si Si. With the extra help, Bill and Si Si subdue Ray and the three remaining henchmen. With order restored, Bill decides to give Steve a full pardon. Mary, who has been watching the battle from afar, joins Walt, who then escorts her on a romantic walk through the field.
Chester Scott Jr.
James E. Aiken
The opening title card of the viewed print reads: "Astor Pictures Corp. presents Walter Wayne in Cactus Barrier." Modern sources attribute director H. W. Kier with producing the film and director Norman Sheldon with writing the screenplay.