Cast & Crew
Steve Randall, a radio star known as The Durango Kid, and his band, the Saddle Pals, led by Jimmy Wakely, are touring the West on the rodeo circuit when they meet Connie Pearson, a reporter for the Sageville Journal . When Marty Jones, a homeless boy, is arrested for stealing Steve's wallet, Connie convinces the judge to parole him to the Sunshine Ranch, a boys' home run by good Samaritan Tom Goodwin. Connie, whose paper sponsors the ranch, persuades Steve to visit and observe Goodwin's good deeds. After spending two days at the ranch, Marty has discovered that Goodwin is using the facility as a front for cattle rustling and the exploitation of child labor. When Marty tries to relay the information to Steve, Goodwin intervenes and prevents him from doing so. After Steve, his sidekick Cannonball and the band leave the ranch, Steve's horse throws a shoe, forcing them to stop along the trail. Marty, meanwhile, has decided to run away with Tim, a young boy whose elder brother was killed after discovering the rustling operation. Coming upon Steve on the trail, Marty recounts the horrors of life on the ranch. Steve insists that Marty and Tim return to the ranch, but upon reaching town, he reports Marty's accusations to Connie and her boss. When Connie refuses to believe him, Steve decides to assume the identity of The Durango Kid, the masked rider he portrays on the radio, and investigate for himself. With Jimmy's help, Steve wires the ranch for sound. After completing their mission, the two are apprehended by Goodwin's thugs, and Goodwin summons the sheriff to come to the ranch to arrest them. When the sheriff arrives, Dr. Webb, the honest but weak-willed physician in Goodwin's employ, seizes the opportunity to expose Goodwin's corruption. Aware that Steve has installed microphones, Dr. Webb tricks Goodwin into discussing his offenses, which are then broadcast throughout the ranch. Hearing the broadcast, the sheriff arrests Goodwin and his men, and all ends happily as Dr. Webb is appointed the new guardian of the Sunshine Ranch.
The working title of this film was Heroes of the Sagebrush. Although the CBCS includes the "Colorado Hill-Billies" in the cast, it is more likely that the singing group in the film was the "Colorado Rangers," which was led by Ozie Waters. According to materials contained in NARS in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles Board of Review of the Office of Censorship disapproved the film for export because of the portrayal of "lawlessness throughout" the picture. The film differed from the other films featuring "The Durango Kid" character in that Charles Starrett portrayed a radio star called "The Durango Kid." For additional information about "The Durano Kid" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for The Return of the Durango Kid.