Bandit Trail The (1941)
Tim Holt stars in this “B” Western haunted by his usual (and unfunny IMO) silly sidekick Whopper played by Lee ‘Lasses’ White.
The film opens with a shootout between the law and Red Haggerty (Morris Ankrum) & others from his brother’s ranch that’s being repossessed by the bank. Resigned to his fate the brother (Eddy Waller) shows up in time to stop the fight but is shot in the process. Before he dies he makes Red promise that when his son Steve arrives the next day that he’ll not lead him astray. But when Steve (Tim Holt) gets off the stagecoach Red bullies him into robbing the bank (with him) of $20000 the value of the cattle his uncle insisted was their’s “free and clear”.
They allude their lawful pursuers but run into an old prison buddy of Red’s named Idaho (Glenn Strange from The Bandit Ranger (1942)) and decide to join forces. Steve is assigned to take the money into Remington another town deposit it and establish “a set of eyes on the inside” that will allow them to know the best time to rob its bank. Whopper goes along with him to get food for the boys. In the bank Steve meets Ellen (Janet Waldo) the beautiful teller & daughter of the bank’s owner and is infatuated. Later he meets Joel Nesbitt (Roy Barcroft) the crooked owner of the saloon/gambling house in town. That evening he attends a party at Ellen’s where they get to dance. Upon returning to the hideout Steve reluctantly agrees to go along with robbing the bank as long as no one inside is hurt.
When the gang goes into town to carry out their deed they see that a bank robbery is already in progress and they chase the bandits to their hideout where another shootout begins. Before the Law’s posse arrives Steve makes Red Idaho and the others (as yet unknown to the town folk) leave. Whopper stays and takes credit for the situation. Steve and the Marshall sneak up on the building and though both are shot finish off the bandits. After two weeks of recovery at Ellen’s house Steve is promoted to Marshall with Whopper as his deputy. Now that Steve is the law can he clean up Remington ridding it of varmints like Nesbitt stave off his uncle Red’s gang and clear his ledger in the town he earlier robbed? What do you think;-)