FRONTIER DAYS (director/writer: Robert F. Hill; screenwriter: story by Norman Springer; cinematographer: Brydon Baker; editor: S. Roy Luby; music: Lee Zahler; cast: Bill Cody (Bill ‘Pinto Kid’ Maywood), Ada Ince (Beth Wilson), Wheeler Oakman (Henry Jethrow), Bill Cody Jr. (Bart Wilson), Franklyn Farnum (George Wilson), Lafe McKee (Hank Wilson), Vic Potel (Deputy Tex Hatch), Bill McKenzie (Casey), Bill Desmond (Sheriff Barnes); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Ray Kirkwood; Sinister Cinema; 1934)
“This is supposedly the best cowboy talkie Bill Cody ever made; I would hate to see the others.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Robert F. Hill (“Cowboy Holiday”/”Law and Lead”) is the writer-director of this routine low-budget B Western. Hill uses the pseudonym of Jimmy Hawkey. It’s from a story by Norman Springer. It stars former silent screen cowboy Bill Cody and his real-life 8-year-old son Bill Cody, Jr.. Other than that, this slow moving shoot-em-up is easily forgettable.
The Pinto Kid (Bill Cody), named because of his pinto horse Chico, is a Wells Fargo agent who goes undercover to nab the holdup men of the stagecoach. While staying at the Wilson ranch, that has been frequently robbed, he’s accused of rustling their cattle. Later he’s framed for the murder of George Wilson (Franklyn Farnum), the widowed patriarch who took the job of stagecoach driver as a last resort to earn money to save the ranch from the grasp of crooked banker/lawyer Henry Jethrow (Wheeler Oakman). Also in on the crimes are the sheriff and his deputies and slimy saloon owner Casey (Bill McKenzie). At first George’s pretty daughter Bess (Ada Ince) and her grandfather Hank Wilson (Lafe McKee) don’t believe The Pinto Kid as readily as does Bess’s peppy young brother Bart (Bill Cody Jr.). But as sure as the summer sun, our pint-sized, fast swinging, big hat wearing hero (like the sombrero one Tom Mix wears) saves the ranch and rounds up the bad guys by using both brain and brawn.
There’s a bar fight and a lot of creaky dialogue. An example of the chatter goes like this: Deputy Tex Hatch: “What is your business?” Pinto Kid: “Minding my own business.”
This is supposedly the best cowboy talkie Bill Cody ever made; I would hate to see the others.REVIEWED ON 11/15/2006 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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