Allan Lane in Death Valley Gunfighter (1949)

Mercury Lane

News reaches Rocky Lane (Allan Lane) that there has been some trouble up at a mining operation when outlaws kill one of two brothers who own the mine. The surviving brother, Nugget Clark (Eddy Waller), is not keen on the young sheriff, Keith Ames (William Henry), not only because he isn't fond of the law but also because Keith is dating his niece Trudy (Gail Davis). Fortunately Rocky gets on with Nugget and soon gets to work on who is behind all the trouble up at the mine.

For the most "Death Valley Gunfighter" is just a typical 1940s hour long west and quite a typical Allan Lane as Rocky lane western where he basically ends up a bit of a trouble shooter when someone is behind a devious plan to steal another man's business. Yes the mining operation isn't gold, which makes it a bit of a change but this does ultimately play to the formula of other Rocky Lane westerns and in fairness is entertaining enough.

But what is pleasant about "Death Valley Gunfighter" is that it does a bit of a loose double tie in. On one hand we have young Keith Ames mentioning how his father hand done Rocky a favour one time and then on the other we have one of the outlaws mentioning that Rocky was behind the incarceration of his brother. As I said it is only loose references but it nicely hints that the character of Rocky is bigger than this one movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Death Valley Gunfighter" is really just another Rocky Lane western and entertaining for being so. That means that it mostly sticks to a formula but every now and then it does something which makes you smile.