Allan William Colt MacDonald (December 2, 1891 – March 27, 1968), who used the name William Colt MacDonald for his writing, was an American writer of westerns born in Detroit, Michigan whose work appeared both in books and on film.
His many film writing credits, all for character writing, include Santa Fe Stampede (1938), Cowboys from Texas (1939), The Kansas Terrors (1939), New Frontier (1939), Wyoming Outlaw (1939), Three Texas Steers (1939), The Night Riders (1939), and Red River Range (1938). His many novels included Gun Country (1929), Rustler's Paradise (1932), The Crimson Quirt (1949), Action at Arcanum (1958), and California Gunman (1957).
His most famous characters are The Three Mesquiteers, who first appeared together in Law of the Forty-Fives (also known as Law of the .45s and the alternative title Sunrise Guns), although two of the three Mesquiteers actually appeared in an earlier novel, Restless Guns.
Along the Navajo Trail is a 1945 American western film directed by Frank McDonald and starring Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes and Dale Evans. The film's story was based on a William Colt MacDonald novel. The film marked the debut of the Cuban actress Estelita Rodriguez, who Republic Pictures then began to build up into a star. Its title song is Along the Navajo Trail, an instrumental version of which appears with the opening credits, with a brief vocal version during the last twenty seconds of the film. The first few bars of the song are used as background music in several chase scenes.The film was part of the long-running series of Roy Rogers films produced by the studio.Ghost-Town Gold
Ghost-Town Gold is a 1936 American film directed by Joseph Kane and was the second entry of the 51-film series of Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movies.Hit the Saddle
Hit the Saddle is a 1937 "Three Mesquiteers" Western B-movie starring Bob Livingston, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune, and Rita Hayworth, before she became famous. The film was directed by Mack V. Wright.Pioneers of the West
Pioneers of the West is a 1940 American Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movie directed by Lester Orlebeck.Powdersmoke Range
Powdersmoke Range is a 1935 black-and-white Western film directed by Wallace Fox starring Harry Carey, Hoot Gibson, Guinn Williams and Bob Steele. It is based on the 1934 novel of the same name by William Colt MacDonald with characters who would later appear in Republic's The Three Mesquiteers film series.Riders of the Black Hills
Riders of the Black Hills is a 1938 American Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movie directed by George Sherman and starring Robert Livingston, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune.Riders of the Whistling Skull
Riders of the Whistling Skull is a 1937 "Three Mesquiteers" Western B-movie of the weird western genre starring Bob Livingston, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, and ventriloquist Max Terhune with his dummy Elmer. It was directed by Mack V. Wright, produced by Nat Levine and released by Republic Pictures. The film is based on the 1934 novel by William Colt MacDonald.Roarin' Lead
Roarin' Lead is a 1936 American film directed by Sam Newfield and Mack V. Wright and was the third entry of the 51-film series of Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movies.Texas Cyclone (film)
Texas Cyclone is a 1932 American Pre-Code Western film directed by D. Ross Lederman. The film stars Tim McCoy as "Texas Grant", Shirley Grey, Wheeler Oakman and John Wayne, and features an early appearance by Walter Brennan.The Kansas Terrors
The Kansas Terrors is a 1939 American Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movie directed by George Sherman.The Law of the 45's
The Law of the 45's is a 1935 American western film directed by John P. McCarthy. The film is also known as The Mysterious Mr. Sheffield in the United Kingdom. The screenplay was based on the 1933 novel of the same name by William Colt MacDonald. It was the first film to be made of MacDonald's characters The Three Mesquiteers that later became a film series at Republic Pictures. Though only two of the characters, Tucson and Stoney appeared in this film, Williams would appear as the missing member "Lullaby" Joslyn in Powdersmoke Range shot in the same year for RKO.
Previously the Alexander brothers Arthur Alexander and Max Alexander had released a series of Westerns starring Guinn Williams under their Beacon Pictures company. Law of the 45s was made by Max's Normandy Pictures.The Phantom Plainsmen
The Phantom Plainsmen is a 1942 American Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movie directed by John English and starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, and Rufe Davis.The Purple Vigilantes
The Purple Vigilantes is a 1938 American Western film directed by George Sherman and starring Robert Livingston, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune. Written by Betty Burbridge and Oliver Drake, the film is about a rancher who organizes other ranchers to form a vigilante group in order to rid their town of outlaws. After the outlaws are defeated, some of the men, posing as the vigilant group, go on a crime spree. The Purple Vigilantes is the 12th entry in the Three Mesquiteers series of B-movies produced by Republic Pictures. The film was released in the United Kingdom as Purple Riders because at that time the word "vigilante" was unknown in Britain.John Denvir, in his book, Legal Reelism: Movies as Legal Texts, compared the hooded-and-robed vigilantes in the film to the Ku Klux Klan. He cited The Purple Vigilantes as being "the series western most clearly inspired by the Klan", noting that the film was "treating its hooded terrorist organization as originally serving a legitimate purpose but corrupted over time."The Three Mesquiteers
The Three Mesquiteers is the umbrella title for a Republic Pictures series of 51 Western B-movies released between 1936 and 1943, including eight films starring John Wayne. The name was a play on words, referring to mesquite, a plant common in the Western states, and The Three Musketeers. Each film featured a trio of stars, with the composition of the trio varying according to the individual movie. The series was based on a series of Western novels by William Colt MacDonald, which began with The Law of 45's in 1933.The series blended the traditional Western period with more modern elements, which was not unknown with other B-Western films and serials. Toward the end of the series, during World War II, the trio of cowboys were opposing Nazis.Thundering Trails
Thundering Trails is a 1943 American Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movie directed by John English and starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, and Jimmie Dodd.Two-Fisted Law
Two-Fisted Law is a 1932 American romantic B-Western Pre-Code film directed by D. Ross Lederman and starring Tim McCoy and John Wayne. The picture also features Walter Brennan, Alice Day, Wheeler Oakman, Tully Marshall, and Wallace MacDonald.Western Story Magazine
Western Story Magazine was a pulp magazine published by Street & Smith, which ran from 1919 to 1949. It was the first of numerous pulp magazines devoted to Western fiction. In its heyday, Western Story Magazine was one of the most successful pulp magazines; in 1921 the magazine was selling over half a million copies each issue. The headquarters was in New York City.Westward Ho (1942 film)
Westward Ho is a 1942 American Western "Three Mesquiteers" B-movie directed by John English and starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, and Rufe Davis.