Cast & Crew
When Mort Saunders, a kindly old rancher who has generously opened his land to settlers, sends for his nephew, Wild Bill, to take over the ranch, Mort's despotic foreman, Matt Brawley, who wants the land for himself, orders Mort killed. Brawley then proclaims himself boss, and when Jim Darcey, one of the settlers, disputes his claim, Brawley shoots him. Soon after, Wild Bill rides into town and joins forces with Cannonball Sims, one of the settlers, to depose Brawley. Before they can act, however, Bill is involved in a shootout with Brawley's men and is arrested for murder. Cannonball rides to Joan Darcey, Jim's daughter, for help, and together they decide to organize the settlers and break Bill out of jail. Learning of their plans, Brawley sends his men to escort Bill to his ranch. Cannonball follows and tricks Bill's escort into thinking that they are being ambushed, thus allowing Bill to escape. Cannonball, Joan and the settlers then ride to Brawley's ranch for a showdown, but Bill beats them there and, to save the settlers, pretends to make a deal with Brawley. Later, with Cannonball's help, Bill escapes and asks Joan to help him capture Brawley. With the settlers, they set a catch to lure Brawley to town and then trap him in a box canyon, but Brawley learns of their plans and ambushes the settlers in the canyon. Cannonball witnesses the ambush and rides to town to warn Bill. As Cannonball and Bill hold off Brawley's men in town, the settlers escape and ride to the rescue. After Bill shoots Brawley, the settlers capture his men and Bill gives the settlers legal claims to their land. Bill is about to settle down when Cannonball brings news that a friend of his is in trouble, and Bill rides off to bring law and order to the West.
The working title of this film was Gun Lord of the Frontier. Modern sources add Jack Kirk and Lynton Brent to the cast. This was the first of four "Wild Bill Saunders" films produced by Columbia from 1939-1940. They all starred Bill Elliott as "Wild Bill Saunders" and Dub Taylor as his friend "Cannonball." Leon Barsha produced the series and Irving Briskin acted as executive producer. The last film in the series was the 1940 film The Return of Wild Bill (see below).