Just after John Scott (John Wayne) gets his rodeo prize money, the Official is robbed and murdered by Pete (Al Ferguson). Pete then says he just saw John and his friend Kansas Charlie (Eddy Chandler) leaving the office. The two fugitives flee to another town where they assume new names. But Pete arrives to point them out and they find themselves in jail.
January 1, 2020 Subject:
John Wayne - Not the Best
This is the 14th in the Lone Star/Paul Malvern series with a terrible story and passable screenplay by Lindsley Parsons, directed by Cullen Lewis - and the worst in this series that I have seen. They've made Wayne a wise ass rodeo star with card shark sidekick Eddy Chandler, who thinks he is what every woman wants. Its all too hard to believe - why would Wayne want a partner who cheats at cards? how could this balding fool think he is match for the handsome Wayne? They get accused of murder, robbery, and stagecoach robbery, get thrown in jail and then break out in order to right all these wrongs, Al Ferguson, a perennial villain, does it again here. First, Carmen LaRoux and then cutie Mary Korman play the girls both Wayne and Chandler chase - but Koran is Wayne's serious love interest. IMDb says Korman was a child star in Hal Roach's Rascals silent series and then in his The Boyfrieds series before her career declined into B films - she appeared in 93 shorts and films between 1922-40, before she left the film world. Same stuff as in other films: stock rodeo footage, Wayne stops a runaway stagecoach and Wayne is going to be married. Yes, there is action, but the story line is so absurd at times, that it puts the film in the 2 star category.
July 7, 2011 Subject:
Most of these early John Wayne westerns produced by Paul Malvern were a cut above the usual B western of the time, with a little extra imaginative writing to offset all the tired old B-western tropes. This one let me down.
My main annoyance was the way that Wayne's and Chandler's characters constantly fought and squabbled over the women, and just about everything else. They had a running gag going where Chandler would take a swing, Wayne would duck, and Chandler would wind up busting his fist against a wall or something. Then Wayne would stomp Chandler's foot with a boot heel. Some people might find this nonsense to be funny; to me, it was just irritating.
Pete, one of the bad guys, has an amazing amount of credibility—people just seem to believe whatever he tells them, never checking any of it out for themselves. We find here one of the oldest, most tired, and most common tropes to be seen in these sorts of films: law enforcement is dumber than rocks, never investigates anything for themselves, and takes the word of whoever manages to get to them first with a tall tale. That leads to the most common plot line: the wrong people get accused and have to struggle to clear themselves, which usually doesn't happen until one of the bad guys confesses.
During some of the chase scenes (particularly the last one), the shooters seem never to run out of bullets. (It doesn't even require all ten fingers to count six shots in a six-shooter.) At the final shootout, the sheriff and his posse can't manage to hit Wayne even though he's standing in plain view at the window from which he is shooting.
The writers ask for so much Suspension of Disbelief, this comes near to being a wall banger. It would take a pretty young kid, even in 1935, to buy into it. An extra star for the performances, though, which are mostly up to the usual standards for Wayne & Co.