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Bullet Code (1940)

Rancher Steve Condon, in a fight with rustlers is led to believe he has killed one of his own cowhands, Bud Mathews. Actually it was a bullet from the rustler leader, Cass Clantine, that ... See full summary »


David Howard


Doris Schroeder (screenplay), Bennett Cohen (story)




Complete credited cast:
George O'Brien ... Steve Holden
Virginia Vale ... Molly Mathews
Slim Whitaker ... Pop Norton
Howard C. Hickman ... John Mathews (as Howard Hickman)
Harry Woods ... Cass Barton
William Haade ... Scar Atwood
Walter Miller ... Sam Gorman
Kirby Grant ... Bud Mathews (as Robert Stanton)


Rancher Steve Condon, in a fight with rustlers is led to believe he has killed one of his own cowhands, Bud Mathews. Actually it was a bullet from the rustler leader, Cass Clantine, that brought Mathews down. Repentant, Steve, with his pal, Pop Norton, leaves for Encintas, where Bud's family lives. Arriving there, he learns that cowhands don't stay long at the Mathews Ranch, the Cicrle M. Steve and Pop meet John Mathews and his daughter Molly and are hired as punchers. Steve decides to postpone his disclosure that he killed Bud. Cass and Scar Atwood arrive in town and join forces with rancher Sam Gorman who is secretly trying to gain control of the Circle M. Gorman sends them out to get jobs on the ranch, and they recognize Steve although he hadn't seen them in the earlier gunfight. Steve finds that a rustled herd of cattle has been driven across the Mathews property, which is right on the border, into Mexico. He suspects that Gorman is the man behind the mystery, Returning to the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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THE SADDLE KING - AT HIS BEST! (original poster-all caps) See more »


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Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Lei sou Eu See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remake of Melody of the Plains (1937) See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played offscreen on harmonica at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Filled with remorse
4 June 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

George O'Brien stars in this RKO B western Bullet Code which is a remake of another film Melody Of The Plains. Somehow I doubt the movie-going public noticed it back in the day. Plots were continually getting recycled in the B picture market.

Despite that it's a compact little western that gets right down to the business of the plot with little frills. O'Brien thinks he shot young Kirby Grant, the future Sky King, who was actually killed by the gang he was really working for while in the employ of O'Brien. Filled with some remorse O'Brien and sidekick Slim Whitman who usually was a western villain travel to see Grant's family which consists of sister Virginia Vale and father Howard Hickman.

They've got troubles of their own with a gang of rustlers who seem to be targeting them exclusively in the area. If you're a fan of B westerns I don't think I have to go to much further into the story.

George O'Brien who was a John Ford favorite and had an A film career in silents had slipped into the B film cowboy market and more than held his own there. Later on Ford would use him in Fort Apache, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, and Cheyenne Autumn. Bullet Code packs quite a bit into its slightly less than an hour running time, enough riding and shooting for western fans to enjoy.

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