(director: Robert North Bradbury; screenwriters: Lindsley Parsons/Robert Emmett Tansey; cinematographer: Louis Clyde Stouman; editor: Carl Pierson; cast: John Wayne (John Wyatt/John Allen), Sheila Bromley (Mary Gordon), Frank McGlynn Jr (Jim Wyatt), James Farley (Lafe Gordon), Jack Curtis (Whit Ballard), Glenn Strange (Carter), Bradley Metcalfe (John Wyatt as a child), Dickie Jones (Jim Wyatt as a child), Mary MacLaren (Ma Wyatt), Hank Bell (Mark Wyatt), Yakima Canutt(Red, Ballard henchman); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Malvern; Republic; 1935)
“If you’re a friend of the B Western genre, you can’t go wrong with this oater.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
In 1844 the Wyatt family is going to California by covered wagon and Whit Ballard’s cattle thief gang, led by Red, kill the parents of the elementary school-aged John and his younger brother Jim. They take Jim captive and raise him as an outlaw, while John escapes when overlooked by the gang. Some twelve years go by and a determined John, now as a twentysomething, forms a vigilante group, who wear black shirts, white scarves and ride white horses, that aim to rid the state of outlaws. John is looking for his missing brother and for vengeance on the gang that killed his parents. Meanwhile Jim is an outlaw for the Whit Ballard gang, not knowing they killed his parents.
When John sets a trap for the gang to rob the cattle of Lafe Gordon, it leads to him discovering his long-lost brother with tragic results and then bringing the gang to justice. Lafe’s daughter Mary is around as a romantic interest for John.
This routine but enjoyable action-packed western was directed by Robert North Bradbury and written by Lindsley Parsons and Robert Emmett Tansey. Wayne’s vigilante group is dubbed the “The Singing Cowboys,” singing the titular song on the prairie in between capturing outlaws. If you’re a friend of the B Western genre, you can’t go wrong with this oater.
REVIEWED ON 10/11/2005 GRADE: B-