Historical accuracy is nowhere to be found but this is still an entertaining Western as the Texas Rangers take on Sam Bass and his all star band of outlaws.
Former Texas Rangers Johnny Carver (George Montgomery) and his pal Buff Smith (Noah Beery,Jr.) get involved with a shootout with Dave Rudabaugh. A stray bullet kills the editor of the local paper while his daughter Helen (Gale Storm) looks on. Johnny and Buff are caught and put in prison for a long term.
Meanwhile the Rangers are reformed now that the Civil War is over. They’re commanded by Major John B. Jones (John Litel). The Governor of Texas orders him to bring down Sam Bass’ (William Bishop) gang of killers and thieves and he doesn’t care what methods he uses.
Bass has formed a gang containing, among others, Butch Cassidy (John Doucette), The Sundance Kid, John Wesley Hardin (John Dehner) Duke Fisher (Jock Mahoney) and Dave Rudabaugh.
Jones gets Johnny and Buff out of prison and reinstated with the Rangers. Johnny’s hero worshipping brother Danny using a different last name is a Ranger. He still carries a medal Johnny won. Helen goes ballistic when she finds out Johnny and Buff are out of prison and back in the Rangers.
Johnny wants to give some payback to Sundance who double crossed him in an earlier robbery. Bass sent Sundance out to bushwack Johnny. Johnny nails him instead. He then tells Buff and Danny he’s done what he set out to do and is quitting the Rangers. They manage to arrest him. Before they can take him back more of Bass’ men show up and Danny is shot in the back. When he expires Johnny changes his mind about leaving.
In the town of Belton, Bass plans to rob the bank. Johnny alerts the sheriff only to commit the robbery himself. It’s all a plan to join Bass’ gang. Jones’ thinks that will tarnish the Rangers image and may even cause them to be disbanded again. Buff finds Johnny who explains everything. He tells him to get word back to Jones. Watching from a nearby cliff are some of Bass’ men.
There’s a million dollar gold shipment coming through by train. Bass plans to rob it. Bass’ men captured Buff before he could get back to headquarters. Johnny pretends they had a falling out. When his back is turned Buff is shot dead. Before leaving town he convinces Helen he’s one of the good guys and tells her to get a message to Jones about where the hold up is planned. Things don’t go exactly as Johnny thought.
This is a good one. Just forget what you know about the real outlaws and that will let you enjoy this one.