Rustling Up Some Marked Notes
Ricardo "Dick" McBride (Tim Holt) and buddy Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) arrive in Trail Cross and soon find themselves in a fight when Chito hears one of his girlfriends, Trixie Fontaine (Lois Andrews); singing in the saloon and a customer takes offence to his friendliness. That is not the only trouble they find themselves in as the Salt River Gang has been rustling cattle and blackmailing ranchers to pay up. Rancher Frank Abbott (Addison Richards) and his daughter Ruth (Martha Hyer) decide to mark the money which they leave for the rustlers and when Dick and Chito are found with some of the money they are accused of being in the gang despite the fact they won it gambling. Having been tossed in to jail the duo pull off an escape with the help of Trixie and set about finding the real Salt River Gang and its ring leader so they can clear their names.
So another Tim Holt and Richard Martin western from the 1940s and yet another one which sees are duo ending up in a jail cell accused of another crime which they didn't commit. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Holt and Martin were told that their next western would see them ending up in a jail cell once again as despite these movies helping to make them stars they must have become bored with doing the same thing again and again. And to be honest 90% of "Rustlers" is cliche from Chito running in to Trixie, one of his saloon singing ladies, to there being an attractive daughter for Dick to get to grips with which he does with would you believe it a spanking scene.
But like with many of Holt and Martin's westerns "Rustlers" does have its moments and this one comes from how they end up with the marked money. It is an elaborate scene which sees them actually taking the money from a corrupt saloon owner who is involved in the Salt River Gang when he refuses to pay up the money which Chito won in his saloon. The way this develops with the Abbott's mistaking the duo for part of the gang works surprisingly well. Unfortunately after this brief interesting interlude it resorts to type with are duo having to break out of jail to clear their names, although the comedy of the jail break is another brief highlight.
What this all boils down to is that "Rustlers" is typical of many a Tim Holt and Richard Martin western with some entertaining ideas and performances but for the most features the usual aspects you would find in all their westerns.