The Texas Rangers (Paramount) represents Hollywood's most determined effort to date to capitalize that glorious period of a State in the making, of which the amusement possibilities have already been so strikingly demonstrated by Showman Billy Rose and his Fort Worth Nude Ranch.
Desperadoes Wahoo (Jack Oakie) and Jim (Fred MacMurray), separated from their leader Sam McGee (Lloyd Nolan) by a sheriff's posse, join the legendary Lone Star police force to facilitate their operations as cattle thieves. It has an opposite effect. After a brush with the redskins in which Wahoo is wounded and Jim emerges a hero, Ranger esprit de corps creeps into Wahoo, Jim begins to eye the Ranger boss's daughter. Thereafter both take their chores with increasing seriousness until the final test of their loyalty comes in the order to get their old friend Sam. Not until Sam has broken the rule of friendship by shooting Wahoo, can Jim bring himself to do the same, prove himself a real Ranger by shooting Sam.
In Dallas, where The Texas Rangers last fortnight had a "prerelease" première, audiences were delighted to find all early white residents of their State, not excluding desperadoes, depicted as high-spirited, swashbuckling citizens in sharp contrast with those cheap chiselers, the Indians. Audiences elsewhere are likely to excuse the picture for its pardonable bias on the grounds of an entertainment value enhanced by King Vidor's vigorous treatment of a story largely concocted by himself, brilliant photography by Cameraman Eddie Cronjager.