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Along the Rio Grande

Along the Rio Grande(1941)

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Doc Randall, the scourge of cattle ranchers, has been rustling herds and then sneaking across the border beyond the reach of the law. To avoid Doc's raids, rancher Pop Edwards sells his cattle and instructs cowhands Jeff, Whopper and Smokey to ride into town to pay off his mortgage to Turner, the banker. While Jeff and the boys ride into the town of Sweetwater, Doc visits Pop and forces him to write a note ordering Jeff to return with the money. At the bank, Jeff turns the money over to Turner and meets Mary Lawry, who is closing her account to leave town and become a café singer. When Jeff receives Pop's note, he asks Turner to return the money, but the banker refuses, and Jeff and his sidekicks rob the safe. Back at the ranch, Doc becomes impatient waiting for Jeff and shoots Pop in the back. After Doc and his men depart, Jeff, Whopper and Smokey reach the ranch, pursued by the sheriff and his posse. Even though it is clear that Jeff robbed the bank to save Pop's life, Turner insists on bringing charges against him and his pals. The sheriff reluctantly jails the three, and in their cell, they meet Pete, a member of Doc's gang, who invites them to join in a jailbreak that night. After Doc's men rescue them from jail, Jeff, Whopper and Smokey ride with the gang to their hideout at the Cantina de Mexico where Mary is singing. When Mary sees the three "bank robbers," she become indignant and quits. The next day, Jeff rides with Doc's gang to rob a gold shipment, but when they approach the wagon, armed guards spring out and shoot at the gang. Escaping in the crossfire, Jeff and Whopper return to the cantina, where they inform Doc of the ambush. Doc suspects that he is being double-crossed, but he is unable to prove it. Jeff and Whopper next accompany Doc's men on a stage robbery, but when they near the stage, the sheriff and his men, disguised as women passengers, jump out and capture the outlaws. Jeff, who has been working with the sheriff, sends Whopper back to the cantina. At Whopper's news, Doc becomes suspicious of Jeff and his pals until Jeff returns with Pete, who had been knocked unconscious and is convinced that Jeff saved his life. The next day, while Jeff and Mary are out riding, Whopper overhears Doc and Pete planning to cross the border and tells Smokey to notify the sheriff. Unknown to Whopper, Doc has set a trap to unmask his betrayers and, after watching Smokey ride for the sheriff, assembles his gang to ambush the lawman. When Jeff returns from his ride, Whopper tells him about Doc's plan, and sensing a trap, Jeff rides after Smokey. When Smokey fails to return from town with the sheriff, Doc and his men return to the cantina, where they find Jeff, Whopper and Smokey, who claims that he rode into Sweetwater to check on the jailed outlaws. When Smokey announces that the sheriff plans to move the men the next day, Doc and Jeff decide to ambush the sheriff and rescue the men. That night, Jeff confides to Mary his plan to use the sheriff to lure Doc over the border. Paula, the cantina owner, overhears Jeff's confidence and tells Doc. The next day, as they ride along the trail to Sweetwater, Doc pulls a gun on Jeff and orders him to take a different route to avoid the sheriff's trap. Back at the cantina, Smokey learns of Doc's scheme, and he and Mary ride for the sheriff. Meanwhile, Doc and Jeff reach Sweetwater and begin fighting in the jailhouse. Just as the jailed men grab the keys and open the cell door, Jeff sneaks out the back and meets Whopper. The two hold off Doc and his gang until Smokey and the sheriff arrive and arrest the outlaws. Summoned by the sound of gunfire, Turner rides to the jailhouse, becoming infuriated when the sheriff ignores his orders to arrest Jeff.