(director: Charles Vidor; screenwriter: writer and story The Peacemaker by Dudley Nichols; cinematographer: Harold Wenstrom; editor: Jack Hively; music: Roy Webb; cast: Richard Dix (Clay Tallant), Louis Calhern (Sheriff Jake Mannen ), Preston Foster (Tex Randolph), James Bush (Orin Tallant), Margot Grahame (Kitty Rivers), Francis Ford (Mayor Ed Comstock), Edward Van Sloan (Judge Cody), Willie Best (Pompey), Etta McDaniel (Sarah), Joseph Sauers (Shot-gun Keeler ), Ray Mayer (Frank McCloskey), Bob Kortman (Henchman); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Cliff Reid; RKO; 1935)

“Routine Western.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Charles Vidor(“Love Me or Leave Me”/”Gilda”/”Cover Girl”) helms the routine Western. The weak screenplay by Dudley Nichols is based on his story The Peacemaker. A story that lacked credibility or impact. It’s the strong performance by Richard Dix that does the pic any justice.

Silver City, Arizona, is run by the corrupt sheriff, Jake Mannen (Louis Calhern) and the motley gang of outlaws he employs. The British singer Kitty Rivers (Margot Grahame) refuses Mannen’s advances and leaves town by stagecoach. She also leaves behind her nice guy boyfriend, Oren Tallant (James Bush), who is bullied by Mannen and threatened to not see Kitty any more or else. When Mannen’s gang forces her to return to town, cowboy Clay Tallant (Richard Dix) suddenly appears on the trail to rescue her. She voluntarily returns with Clay. Learning about the lack of law and order Clay, who came for a brief visit to his brother Oren, decides to stay in town and has the mayor (Francis Ford) appoint him marshal. Banning the carrying of guns in town, has Mannen’s boys go after Clay. When that doesn’t work, Mannen sends for the notorious gunslinger outlaw Tex Randolph (Preston Foster). But Tex is impressed by Clay’s honesty and the bandit reforms to help him clean-up the town. Meanwhile Clay tries to work things out with his younger brother over Kitty when he finds out that both have fallen in love with her.

Richard Dix and Margot Grahame in The Arizonian (1935)