"Wildcat riggers risk their lives in the pursuit of oil. Their jobs get even more dangerous when ruthless oil baron J.C. Anderson (Berton Churchill) sets his sights on their territory. When longtime driller Dan O'Reilly (Frank Shannon) falls to his death from a well tower sabotaged by Anderson's strong-arm thugs, his teenage son 'Fishtail' (Frankie Darro) inherits the property and the troubles that come with it.
May 8, 2015 Subject:
A Man And A Boy Adventure Picture
Starting in 1935, 18 year old Frankie Darro began a long series of films, first with LeRoy Mason and then with Kane Richmond for Ambassador/Conn Pictures. This one was released in January 1936 and it's pretty good. 2300 plus people have viewed it here without a review thus far. I hope to rectify that. Darro is the tentative "Star" of the piece but Mason gets all the good lines and most of the action and his empathy with Darro when his father is murdered is some of his best work in films, period. This rather intimate scene is one of the highlights of the film. Mason and Darro started in silent pictures and stayed very busy into the sound era in "B" and "A" films. Mason most noted for westerns and villains is great as the good guy here. Darro on the other hand was a sincere child star and then a young leading man in "B"'s for Conn and Monogram and bit parts in several "A" pictures. Both played well off each other.
Gloria Shea was in a slew of "B" movies for most of the Poverty Row studios, mostly westerns. She appeared to be the "go to" girl for wholesome females. This was her last film, sad to say, as a serious accident cut her career short. Coming from a prominent New York Family she married a Navy officer who became an Admiral in a long career. Berton Churchill again played the oily villain of the film as only he could.
Snowflake Toones had a major comedic role in the film and actually he and the entire production had a "Republic Pictures" feel to it while watching, which it wasn't.
The picture quality gets a little dark and dense at times but still very watchable. Sound is excellent. It's a bottom of the bill Saturday matinee feature to be sure but very watchable. Enjoy. (Check out my other Frankie Darro reviews here at IA.)