TEXAS TERROR (director/writer: Robert N. Bradbury; screenwriter: from a story by Robert N. Bradbury; cinematographer: Archie Stout; editor: Carl Pierson; music: William Barber, 1985 video version; cast: John Wayne (Sheriff John Higgins), Frank Ball (Dan Matthews), Lucile Browne (Beth Mathews), LeRoy Mason (Joe Dickson), Fern Emmett (Aunt Martha Hubbard), George ‘Gabby’ Hayes (Sheriff Ed Williams), Bufalo Bill Jr. (Blackie Martin), John Ince (Blacksmith Bob), Henry Roquemore (Dance MC), Yakima Canutt (Martin Brother), Artie Ortego (Black Eagle); Runtime: 58; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Malvern; Lone Star; 1935)
“A poorly acted and conceived B Western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A poorly acted and conceived B Western from Lone Star. It’s directed and written by Robert N. Bradbury, from his story.
John Wayne plays Sheriff John Higgins, who is upset his best friend Dan Matthews got killed by outlaws. He feels responsible that he might have caused the death by breaking up the robbery and getting into a shootout with the fleeing bandits–believing his friend might have been killed in the crossfire. John recovers the money and gets a friend to deposit it in the bank for the new owner of the Lazy M, Dan’s daughter Beth (Lucile Browne), who is returning from living in the east. After John quits and turns the sheriff’s job over to his pal Ed Williams (George ‘Gabby’ Hayes), he heads to the hills to become a prospector. The unshaven John breaks up a stagecoach robbery, as Beth arrives. But she mistakes him for one of the bandits before he gets a chance to explain. Sheriff Williams convinces John he can best help Beth by becoming her foreman and stop her stock from being rustled. So John shaves and is unrecognized by Beth, but no one tells her that her new foreman’s secret is that he might have killed her father accidentally. As a few months pass, John doesn’t return Beth’s romantic hints. But her Aunt Martha tells her men act funny when they are in love. At a country dance leading citizen Joe Dickson ( LeRoy Mason) finds out from a gossip that John killed her father and tells this to Beth, but twists the story to make it seem John is a cold-blooded killer. When she goes to confront John, he’s in a hurry to prevent a robbery and brushes her off. Beth follows him and watches him empty out the Wells Fargo safe, not understanding he’s working with the sheriff to trap the Martin Brothers who are suspected of robbing the stage and her father. The plan works, as the robbery is foiled and the Brothers lead John to their leader Dickson. John overhears the outlaw making plans to rustle Beth’s entire herd with the help of another gang and goes to his old friend Black Eagle for help. The Indians thwart the rustlers and John when he captures Blackie Martin threatens to break his arm unless he tells who killed Dan. He confesses it was Dickson who shot him in the back through an open window. John leaves for his shack in the hills after the villains are arrested and a few months go by before Beth persuades Black Eagle to take her to John. The film ends with the young lovers in the shack and Black Eagle leaving after waiting two hours.
REVIEWED ON 8/21/2005 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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