Streets of Laredo
Poster of the movie Streets of Laredo.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLeslie Fenton
Screenplay byCharles Marquis Warren
Story byLouis Stevens
Elizabeth Hill
Produced byRobert Fellows
StarringWilliam Holden
Macdonald Carey
Mona Freeman
William Bendix
CinematographyRay Rennahan
Edited byArchie Marshek
Music byVictor Young
Color processTechnicolor
Paramount Pictures
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 27, 1949 (1949-05-27)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,150,000[2]

Streets of Laredo is a 1949 American Western film directed by Leslie Fenton and starring William Holden, Macdonald Carey and William Bendix[3] as three outlaws who rescue a young girl, played by Mona Freeman. When they become separated, two reluctantly become Texas Rangers, while the third continues on a life of crime.

The film is a Technicolor remake of King Vidor's black-and-white film The Texas Rangers (1936), which starred Fred MacMurray in Holden's role, Jack Oakie in William Bendix's, Lloyd Nolan in MacDonald Carey's role, and Jean Parker as the girl they rescue.


A trio of outlaws, Jim Dawkins (Holden), Lorn Reming (Carey), and Reuben "Wahoo" Jones (Bendix), rob a stage. But when a young lady, Rannie Carter (Freeman), is menaced by rich and ruthless Charley Calico (Alfonso Bedoya) after her uncle is killed, the robbers come to her rescue. They run him off, then pay old Pop Lint (Clem Bevans) to watch over her at his ranch.

Lorn ends up separated from his partners but continues his life of crime. Jim and Wahoo inadvertently aid some Texas Rangers and are sworn in as Rangers themselves. Lorn sees an opportunity, steals a herd of cattle the Rangers are guarding, then lets Jim and Wahoo enhance their reputation by being the ones who bring the cattle back.

Lorn's friends turn a blind eye to his activities for a while. Calico is a worse villain, burning Pop's barn and causing the old man to have a fatal heart attack. Calico assaults a Ranger as well, and is ultimately killed by Jim.

But it doesn't end there. Lorn now wants Calico's empire for himself. He also wants Rannie, who has grown to be a beautiful woman. Jim, who loves her, calls off the agreement to look the other way at Loren's misdeeds. But he does remove a bullet when a wounded Lorn hides out at Rannie's after a holdup.

Jim resigns as a lawman, then vows revenge after Wahoo is gunned down. Now that Rannie can see Lorn for what he really is, she wishes Jim luck as he rides to Laredo for a showdown. The former partners face each other for the last time, then Lorn is killed by Rannie.



The film takes its title from the old Western ballad "The Streets of Laredo", which is frequently used as underscoring.


  1. ^ Schallert, Edwin (February 13, 1949). "Hollywood Must Keep Zest to Hold Public: Henry Ginsberg of Paramount Says Defeat Talk Hurts Box Office". Los Angeles Times. p. D1.
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1949". Variety. January 4, 1950. p. 59.
  3. ^ José David Saldívar, The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Duke University Press, 1991), 52.