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Max Terhune portrayed "Alibi" in all 24
of Monogram's Range Busters adventures



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - a color tablet cover showing the original members of the Range Busters. From left to right are John 'Dusty' King, Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and Max 'Alibi' Terhune.

Max's nickname change from Lullaby to Alibi occurs in their first adventure, THE RANGE BUSTERS (Monogram, 1940). Our intrepid heroes ride to the aid of the Circle T Ranch owner who is threatened by a mysterious phantom killer. When the three meet up at the beginning, they ask Terhune why the name change from "Lullaby" to "Alibi" - and the answer is (my paraphrase) that the "Alibi" monicker is a better fit because dummy Elmer gets him into so much trouble and he always needs an alibi/excuse.




(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

The teaming of Max and alter ego Elmer worked in the Three Mesquiteers ... and it worked in the Range Busters.

But there was some strangeness that I noticed when re-watching the films. In several, Elmer is completely separated/detached from Terhune ... and Elmer wisecracks and chats ... just like Elmer is a real person. This happens in TEXAS TROUBLESHOOTERS, ARIZONA STAGECOACH, TEXAS TO BATAAN, LAND OF HUNTED MEN, and perhaps a few others. Reminds me of that 1962 TWILIGHT ZONE episode with Cliff Robertson and his dummy "Willy". That "Elmer operating on his own" may have occurred in the Mesquiteers films, but I don't recall it.




(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above is barkeep Jimmy Aubrey chatting with Max Terhune and dummy Elmer in a still from the Range Busters HAUNTED RANCH (Monogram, 1943). When Aubrey wore that large handlebar moustache, I'm reminded of "Yosemite Sam" in the Looney Tunes cartoons.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from L-to-R are Max Terhune, Ray Corrigan, Nell O'Day and John King in a still from the Range Busters adventure, ARIZONA STAGECOACH (Monogram, 1942). "Elmer" is relaxing in the chair.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from L-to-R are Lynton Brent, John King, Max Terhune and Dave Sharpe in THE TRAIL RIDERS (Monogram, 1942).



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from left to right are Max Terhune, Ray Corrigan, Evelyn Finley and Dennis Moore in COWBOY COMMANDOS (Monogram, 1943), one of the last of the 24 Range Busters westerns.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above are Evelyn Finley and the final three members of the Range Busters taking a break on their trusty steeds during the filming of COWBOY COMMANDOS (Monogram, 1943). Finley is riding 'Lucky/Tex', which was ridden by Jack Randall, John 'Dusty' King, Raymond Hatton, Jimmy Wakely and others. From left to right are Finley, Max Terhune, Ray Corrigan and Dennis Moore. Max is still riding 'Banjo'.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - one of the collector cards issued on the members of the Range Busters team. Note the spelling of the RangeBusters at the bottom as a single word, with no break between Range and Busters.



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