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BILLY THE KID’S RANGE WAR (1941) **

From 1940 to 1942, Sam Newfield directed ten movies about Billy the Kid for PRC. Bob Steele starred in half of those films. I haven’t seen the other nine films in the series, but judging from Billy the Kid’s Range War (the third in the series), I’m not missing much.

Billy the Kid gets framed for murder by a no-good sheriff. Pretty soon, everyone in the state is looking for him. With the help of his friend Fuzzy (Al St. John), Billy sets out to clear his name.

Billy the Kid’s Range War may be nothing more than a low budget B oater programmer, but it moves along at a fairly swift pace and benefits from a short running time (it’s only 55 minutes long). And while Billy the Kid’s Range War isn’t bad or anything, it’s not particularly memorable either. The plot isn’t too far removed from a Roy Rogers or a Gene Autry movie. But it’s not exactly the sort of adventure you’d expect an outlaw like Billy the Kid to be wrapped up in though.

Steele isn’t bad, but he looks way too old to be playing Billy “the Kid”. And as far as comic sidekicks go, Al St. John (from The Law of 45’s) is no Gabby Hayes. He does get a funny scene where he tries to trick a jailer into releasing Steele though.

AKA: Texas Trouble.

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