Thunder Over the Prairie (1941) APPROVED · 1h · Action, Music, Western · 30 July 1941
This is the second of a three-film series starring Charles Starrett as "The Medico" (based on the Frontier Doctor character, Steven Monroe, created by James L. Rubel in books.) This entry was preceded by "The Medico of Painted Springs" and followed by "Prairie Stranger," before Columbia halted the series, and made the five remaining films of Charles Starrett's 1941-42 production season as straight-action/musical westerns with Starrett playing different characters in each. The Sons of the Pioneers, the musical mainstays in all of Starrett's B-westerns from 1937 through the 1940-41 production seasons, had left Columbia and signed with Republic, so the musical groups in all of the remaining Starrett/Columbia westerns were part of a revolving door that changed with each film. The band in this one was Carl (Cal) Shrum and his Rhythm Rangers, and nobody, including Shrum and his band members,played 'Himself" or 'Themselves" in these fictional films set in a time period before any of these performers were born. This entry has the nomadic, usually-pacifist, non-gun-toting---until really provoked when all else failed (the primary reason the series never caught on and was discontinued)--- Dr. Steven (Steve) Monroe arriving in Rock City to learn that his friend, Roy Mandan, has had his property ruined by dust storms and is forced to work on an irrigation project for crooked construction-engineer Ace Hartley. A heavy rain storm endangers the dam, which has been constructed of inferior materials, and Hartley and his henchmen blow it up and blame Roy. When Roy stands trial, his brother, Clay Mandan, stampedes a herd of wild horses into town and into the courthouse. Roy is shot during the melee and dies in Steve's arms. Monroe then straps on his shooting-irons, from his gunfighter days before becoming a doctor, and sets out to expose Hartley and his gang. - Written by Les Adams
Director(s): Lambert Hillyer Cast: Charles Starrett, Cliff Edwards, Eileen O'Hearn
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