The Bronze Buckaroo

16mm motion picture film of The Bronze Buckaroo

Directed by
Kahn, Richard C., American, 1897 - 1960
Subject of
Jeffries, Herb, American, 1913 - 2014
Williams, Spencer, American, 1893-1969
Brooks, Clarence, American, 1896 - 1969
16mm Film (a): acetate film;
16mm Film (b): acetate film
Duration: 60 Minutes
Length (Film Reel 1): 1200 Feet
Length (Film Reel 2): 900 Feet
motion pictures (information artifacts)
Place depicted
Arizona, United States, North and Central America
Place filmed
San Bernardino County, California, United States, North and Central America
A group of cowboys search for their friend, who has recently gone missing. During their search, they uncover a bitter land dispute between their missing friend and his neighbor.
2015.167.4.1ab: 16mm Black and White film.
This film is a roaring round-up of song-studded thrills in this 1938 western featuring an all black cast in a Richard C. Kahn production.
The film is about five cowboys led by Bob Blake that ride from Texas to help their friend, Joe Jackson, who has moved to Arizona for his health. At the Jackson ranch, his sly assistant, Slim Perkins, throws his voice, using ventriloquism to convince foolish "Dusty" that the mule "Gabriel" talks. Bob learns from Joe's sister Betty that Joe disappeared three weeks before and is reminded that her father had vanished in a similar manner and later had turned up dead. The cowboys drift into town to learn what they can. Dusty and a companion enter a saloon, where brutish cowhand Pete shoots his partner in a card game and then forces Dusty to smoke four cigars at once. Bob enters to interrupt the bully and the two have a fistfight. Dusty, who has purchased Gabriel for twelve dollars, is angry that the mule does not talk for him, but finds Slim's book on ventriloquism. Later, Dusty tells Slim that he is teaching Gabriel to recite poetry, then loses his clothes in a crooked poker game with Slim. Bob visits Buck Thorn, a neighbor of the Jacksons' who has offered to buy their ranch, and employs Pete and some other tough cowhands. While riding together, Bob and Betty encounter Uncle, a codger who informs them that he mailed a letter from Joe to Bob a few weeks earlier, a letter he found unstamped and lying on the ground underneath a window of the saloon. Bob enters the saloon, pretending to be drunk. Upstairs, Buck, Pete and their henchmen try to force Joe to sign a deed to his land over to them because it contains a mine worth one million dollars in gold. Bob finds them and pulls a gun but is knocked over the head by the bartender. A shootout breaks out downstairs when his friends come to his rescue. Returning to the ranch, they discover that Betty is gone. She has left to follow Pete, who carries a message that Joe is hurt, and is captured. Buck has Joe branded with a hot iron, and Betty is threatened with the same treatment. Meanwhile, Betty's horse returns to the ranch and Bob and his friends follow the animal's tracks. They are caught by Pete, but escape when Slim throws his voice to make them think others have arrived. During a gunfight among the rocks, the sheriff and his men are led to the scene by Dusty riding Gabriel, and Dusty shoots Pete. Dusty then wins back his clothes and twelve dollars from Slim by using ventriloquism to impersonate Gabriel reciting a satirical poem, while Bob and Betty ride off together.
AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Accessed on August 9, 2016 (
Worldcat. Accessed on August 9, 2016 (
African American
American West
Race films
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Randall and Sam Nieman
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title
Nieman Film Collection
Media Arts-Film and Video
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

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