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In addition to his starring roles in the two serials as Tonto, and SILVER STALLION for Monogram, Daniels became a member of the Trail Blazers, and made OUTLAW TRAIL and SONORA STAGECOACH, both of which were released in 1944.

As background, film production companies found that cowboy films featuring two or three heroes were popular, and the most famous of these groupings is Republic's Three Mesquiteers series which arrived on the screen in 1936.  Monogram Pictures wanted to cash in on this and earlier, had brought the Rough Riders and Range Busters to the screen.

The Rough Riders series ended after eight films due to the death of Buck Jones in the Boston Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire and Tim McCoy returning for WWII military duty.  The Range Busters lasted a while longer, but when that grouping ended in 1943, Monogram replaced it with the Trail Blazers.  The Trail Blazers initially starred veteran horse opera heroes Ken Maynard and Hoot Gibson.  After a few entries, Bob Steele joined the group.

When Ken Maynard exited the series, Victor Daniels was hired as the third member of the team.



(Image courtesy of Les Adams)




(From Old Corral image collection)

In this publicity still, Chief Thunder Cloud (Victor Daniels) is on the left riding Rusty the Wonder Horse ... along with the other Trail Blazers' stars, Bob Steele (center) and Hoot Gibson (right). Daniels was billed third in the advertising media and cast credits.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Takin' a break at Monogram during the filming of OUTLAW TRAIL (Monogram, 1944), one of the Trail Blazers trio westerns. Above from L-to-R are Hoot Gibson, Victor Daniels/Chief Thunder Cloud, Gene Alsace (Rocky Camron), Jennifer Holt and Bob Steele. Jennifer Holt was the sister of RKO cowboy Tim Holt, and a frequent leading lady to Johnny Mack Brown, Eddie Dean and Lash LaRue in the 1940s.



(Courtesy of Ken Jones)

Hoot Gibson on the left and Chief Thunder Cloud on the right, have apprehended a trio of henchies in OUTLAW TRAIL (Monogram, 1944), an entry in the Trail Blazers series.  In the center from L-to-R are Jim Thorpe, Al Ferguson and Frank Ellis. James Francis 'Jim' Thorpe, (1888-1953) won the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic games, but was later stripped of his medals since he had played pro sports.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Rocky Camron, Betty Miles, Hoot Gibson, Victor Daniels and Bob Steele in a scene from Monogram's SONORA STAGECOACH (Monogram, 1944).



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