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Racketeers of the Range (1939)

Passed | | Action, Music, Romance | 26 May 1939 (USA)
A large packing company is trying to obtain a monopoly by taking over the last small independent meat packer. Barney O'Dell, owner of the largest ranch, is trying to stop them. When the ... See full summary »


D. Ross Lederman


Oliver Drake (screenplay), Bernard McConville (story)


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Complete credited cast:
George O'Brien ... Barney O'Dell
Chill Wills ... Whopper Hatch
Marjorie Reynolds ... Helen Lewis
Gay Seabrook Gay Seabrook ... Penny Jones
Robert Fiske ... Roger Whitlock
John Dilson ... William J. Benson
Monte Montague ... Joe Larkin
Bud Osborne ... Hank - Henchman
Ben Corbett ... Dutch - Henchman
Ray Whitley ... Ray Whitley
Cactus Mack ... Flash Gilbert
Frankie Marvin ... Skeeter Potts


A large packing company is trying to obtain a monopoly by taking over the last small independent meat packer. Barney O'Dell, owner of the largest ranch, is trying to stop them. When the owner agrees to sell, Barney gets a delay by forcing the small company to declare bankruptcy and having himself made receiver. Now the large company has to deal with Larry, and when he refuses they resort to rustling. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A FAST MOVING DRAMA of today's cattle country! (original print ad)


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'attaque du convoi See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Caboose on the Red ball Train
Music and Lyrics by Ray Whitley and Fred Rose
Played and sung on the train by Ray Whitley (on guitar), Chill Wills (on guitar),
Cactus Mack (on banjo) and Frankie Marvin (on violin)
Reprised by them at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Below-average George O'Brien western
30 September 2004 | by frankfobSee all my reviews

George O'Brien was under contract to RKO for several years, during which he made a pretty neat series of westerns. He had an easygoing Irish charm, was a good actor and a tremendous athlete, and his westerns were models of the B genre--efficiently but not cheaply made, fast-paced but not rushed, briskly directed, and leavened with touches of clever humor not often found in B westerns, where comedy was usually restricted to overacting sidekicks and forced slapstick. Unfortunately, this is not one of O'Brien's better entries. One of the problems is that much of the action (and there isn't all that much of it to begin with) takes place on railroad cars, and the fact that these scenes were shot on a studio soundstage is painfully obvious by the surprisingly shoddy use of rear projection. The subject matter itself--a big meat packing company trying to squeeze its smaller competitors out of business so it can have the market to itself--doesn't really lend itself well to the western genre, and the result is that stretches of the film are, frankly, boring. Director D. Ross Lederman cut his teeth on B westerns at Columbia, first as a second-unit director and then as a director of Tim McCoy westerns, but he can't really do all that much here, being restricted as he was to a soundstage for much of the "action." There's a gun battle shot on location which takes place on a cattle train that's being attacked by outlaws, but it doesn't last long and is actually not done all that well. O'Brien tries hard, but this one just really doesn't work. It's worth one look, maybe, but O'Brien has done far better.

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