The Three Mesquiteers was the umbrella title for a series of fifty-one B-westerns released between 1936 and 1943. The films featured the characters Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin as the threesome, played by many B-western stars of that era. In 1938, John Wayne took over for Robert Livingston as Stony Brooke and starred in eight Mesquiteers films between 1938 and 1939, he was joined by Ray Corrigan as Tucson Smith and Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin for the first six and Raymond Hatton as Rusty Joslin for the last two. All eight films were directed by George Sherman (Big Jake). John Ford's Stagecoach was perfectly sandwiched between the eight films, and John Wayne's portrayal of the outlaw gunfighter, The Ringo Kid, made him a superstar, ending Wayne's Stony Brooke run. Livingston was rehired as Brooke and went on to make fourteen more Mesquiteers films, for an incredible total of twenty-nine. In Pals of the Saddle (the first of Wayne's eight Mesquiteers films), Stoney and his pals are chasing after foreign spies who are trying to steal and smuggle a deadly chemical "Monium" out of the United States.