Lone Star Ranger was a superior entry in western star George O'Brien's Zane Grey series for Fox Studios. Lensed on location in Utah's Monument Valley (long before it was "adopted" by John Ford), the film was adapted for the screen by Zane Grey from a novel by Max Brand, which had previously done service as a Tom Mix vehicle (and would later be remade by Fox with John Kimbrough in the lead). At the outset of the film, Buck Duane (O'Brien) is an outlaw, but upon rescuing Mary Aldridge (Sue Carol) from a runaway stagecoach, he vows to turn over a new leaf. He takes to ranching, whereupon the governor offers him a pardon -- if he will agree to lasso a gang of cattle rustlers. What no one knows is that the leader of the outlaws is Mary's father Colonel Aldridge (Russell Simpson). There are plenty of well-rehearsed thrills in Lone Star Ranger, but the film's most charming moment is purely spontaneous: upon meeting Sue Carol for the first time, a shirtless George O'Brien instinctively sucks in his stomach!
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