The Man from Tumbleweeds (1940)
Powder Kilgore (Ray Bennett as Raphael Bennett) kills freighter Jeff Cameron (Edward LeSaint) and the latter’s daughter, “Spunky” (Iris Meredith), sends for gunfighter Wild Bill Saunders (Bill Elliott, in another of his more than 195 films in which he was never, not once, billed as William ‘Wild Bill’ Elliott.) Bill finds that few men care to buck the Kilgore gang, and he gets consent from Governor Dawson (Don Beddoe) to form a state ranger’s organization out of gunmen now in prison, the men to be pardoned if they prove themselves worthy. (A plot line used at least six times by writer/director Robert Emmett Tansey elsewhere in a ten year period.) Bill whips a Kilgore henchman, Lightning Barlow (Francis Walker), who is offering “Spunky” protection in return for a half-share in her freighting business. Bill jails Barlow and other Kilgore gang members when he and his “rangers” foil an attempted gold-shipment holdup. “Spunky” and her helper Cannonball (Dub Taylor) stumble on Kilgore’s hideout and are taken prisoner. Bill rescues them, but Kilgore and his henchman surround the hideout.