Cast & Crew
Mild-mannered bookkeeper Spade Cooley is sent West by his boss, Vanfleet Stoglehammer, to investigate problems at the Green Valley Mine, which has been robbed by the masked Silver Bandit. Mine manager Frank Doren is also under suspicion of swindling, and Spade is instructed to get an undercover job at the mine. When Spade arrives, dressed in a dude Western outfit, he has to walk from the railroad station to the mine. On his way he encounters Doren's sister Molly and they ride double on her horse to the mine. Meanwhile, The Silver Bandit attacks a mine wagon, slugs the driver and rides off with the wagon. The sheriff arrives at the mine with a palomino horse, which he believes belongs to the bandit, and plans to use it to trap him. At a dance that night, Spade finds a concho on the ground and others recognize it as being from a stolen saddle. Sam Morrell, Molly's boyfriend, warns Spade to stay away from her and slugs him. The next day, to further aggravate Spade, Morrell persuades Spade to ride the fiesty palomino. He is thrown off and falls into a cave shaft, where he discovers a great deal of silver loot and realizes that he is in The Silver Bandit's hideout. Meanwhile, as Spade tries on the bandit's spare costume, the sheriff and two others are chasing The Silver Bandit. When the sheriff spots Spade in the outfit, they chase after him but he escapes. Back at the mine, Spade and Sam get into another fight. Just as Spade is about to take Molly to see the treasure he has found, a letter arrives from his boss and his "cover" is destroyed when Morrell reads it out loud. The letter states that Spade's boss has agreed to post a reward of $10,000 for the capture of The Silver Bandit, that he is placing Spade in full charge of the mine and that Spade is to dismiss Doren. Molly is very angry at Spade's deception, but Spade does not want to fire Frank and tries to fire Morrell instead, but he insists that he has an iron-clad contract. Frank and Molly decide to leave anyway and Spade's boss arrives during their farewell party. Spade is instructed to return East but he quits instead. At the cave, Spade dons The Silver Bandit's outfit again and, unmasked, confronts the people at the mine, explaining where he found the costume. When they all go to the mine, they are able to identify a number of the stolen items and the sheriff assigns a deputy to guard the treasure. However, The Silver Bandit returns, overpowers the deputy and places an expensive saddle in his buckboard, but is seen by Spade, who chases after him on horseback. Spade jumps into the buckboard and the two men struggle. The Bandit's mask falls off, revealing Morrell. After both men fall out of the buckboard, Spade draws his guns and takes Morrell prisoner. Back at the mine, Spade turns Morrell over to the sheriff and all the loot is recovered. Molly and Spade claim the reward money.
J. R. Camomile
Jules L. Fox
This film was shot in 1947 on 16mm color stock. In the onscreen credits, director Stanley Neufeld's surname was misspelled "Nuefeld," and actor Richard Elliott's surname was misspelled "Elliot." A July 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that producer-actor Spade Cooley had turned over distribution rights to The Silver Bandit to International-United, which intended to cut the film and blow it up to 35mm. The 35mm print viewed was in black and white and no evidence of a 35mm color release has been found. The MPAA/PCA files in the AMPAS Library reveal that a MPAA certificate number was tentatively granted to the film in late September 1947 and that the negative cost of the picture was $30,000.