Overland Stage Raiders
Directed by George Sherman
John Wayne as Stoney Brooke
Ray 'Crash' Corrigan as Tucson Smith
Max Alibi' Terhune as Lullaby Joslin
Louise Brooks as Beth Hoyt, also known as Beth Vincent
Anthony Marsh as Ned Hoyt, also known as Ned Vincent
Ralph Bowman as Bob Whitney
Gordon Hart as Mullins
Roy James as Frank Harmon
Olin Francis as Jake
Fern Emmett as Ma Hawkins
Henry Otho as Sheriff Mason
The Oro Grande Mining Company has a problem. Its shipments of gold are being highjacked as they travel overland by bus. Stoney Brook and his friends, the Three Mesquiteers, are called in to help. After he parachutes onto the bus route to save a gold shipment, he has an idea to have the Oro Grande mining company fly their gold, thus dramatically reducing the risk of highjacking. He contacts local pilot Ned Hoyt to start a shipping company and puts up part of his reward money towards the venture. Shortly thereafter, Stoney tries to talk Ned into buying a bigger plane so he can carry passengers as well as cargo. This makes Ned nervous as he once ran afoul of the law and lost his pilot license for a time. Unbeknownst to all, he has changed his last name from Vincent to Hoyt to start anew. Stoney has his mind set on the plan and has the local ranchers, who have a lot more cattle than money, buy into the venture, putting up their cattle as collateral. Ned now needs a co-pilot to fly the bigger plane, and chooses an old friend, Bob Whitney, who knows of Ned’s checkered past, over Joe Waddell, a radio operator who used to be a pilot. Mullins, the head of the bus company that has now been cut out of the loop because of the airline, has an axe to grind against the fledgling company and tries to ruin them by rustling cattle from the ranchers during the cattle drive. One of the cowboys assigned to the drive is shot, but able to ride back to Stoney and his friends and warn them. Stoney and the Three Mesquiteers ride to protect the cattle and are successful. The air express is doing a booming business until two strangers arrive by bus. The two strangers board a plane and while it is in midair, highjack it, and kill Bob. After forcing the passengers to parachute to the ground, the killers fly off with $100,000 in gold with Ned behind the wheel. During the takeover, Ned had sent a radio message for help to Joe, but Joe did not respond. Stoney and his friends begin questioning the passengers to try to find out what happened. One of the passengers overheard Ned radio to Joe, and Stoney goes to confront him. The Mesquiteers tie Joe up and imitate his voice to learn the location of the killers and the plane, and go to stop them. Meanwhile, Joe escapes and goes to tell Mullins of the impending showdown. Can the Three Mesquiteers deal with the killers, save Ned and take care of Mullins? Only after a dramatic, smoky showdown!
This was the final film appearance of silent film legend Louise Brooks. It was rumored at the time that she was preparing for a comeback, but that was not to occur.
The Three Mesquiteers was a series of 8 films made by Republic studios through 1938 to 1939.