The Fighting Renegade (1939)

Tim McCoy in The Fighting Renegade (1939)

Lightnin' Bill Amigo

Years earlier, federal agent "Lightnin' Bill' Carson (Tim McCoy) just disappeared around the same time an archaeologist was murdered, what few people realise is that Carson is now El Puma, a guide to the Mexican desert and the badlands. It is as a guide that he finds himself working for Professor Lucious Lloyd (Forrest Taylor) and his niece Marian (Joyce Bryant) whose father was the murdered archaeologist who many suspect Carson of being guilty of killing. When Lucious is found dead with El Puma's knife sticking out of him even Carson's old friend Magpie (Ben Corbett) suspects his old friend may have murdered him and so Carson now has to clear his name of both murders.

Well trust me when I say they wouldn't get away with making "The Fighting Renegade" now or at least not one where you have an actor pretending to be Mexican and having one of the worst accents going. Tim McCoy's Mexican accent in this was probably intended to be comical and in truth back in 1939 probably was with young audiences maybe even imitating some of the worst bits but now the PC brigade would jump on it.

But whilst the poor accent is probably the thing you will remember the most about "The Fighting Renegade" the storyline is a slight twist on the norm. Usually you would have seen the original murder and had a few scenes which set up Carson going on the run and masquerading as El Puma in order to find the real killer. But instead this almost jumps to the usual second half of the movie with it picking up with Carson as El Puma and ending up the guide to a relative of the original murdered man. As such what follows is actually traditional with another death another bit of mistaken identity and of course danger before Carson gets to not only come good but in the tradition of these westerns gets the girl as well.

What this all boils down to is that "The Fighting Renegade" is in truth a little bit more entertaining than most of these old 1930s westerns but it still isn't anything special and certainly not entertaining enough for anyone who isn't mad about old westerns.