(director: Arthur Lubin; screenwriters: Houston Branch, Stuart Palmer, Jefferson Parker/story by Arthur Phillips; cinematographer: Milton Krasner; editor: Maurice E. Wright; music: Clifford Vaughan; cast: Judith Barrett (Ruth Foster), Henry Hunter (Dick Sherwood), Andy Devine (Pay-Day), Alan Hale (John Alexander Hardigan), Paul Fix (Dynamite), Raymond Hatton (Old Pete), Monrow Owsley (Marty Ryan / Jenkins), Ralph Morgan (James Foster/Anderson), Rollo Lloyd (Franklin Ross/Bald Jack), Michael Loring (Merritt Billing), Paul Harvey (Chief Ranger Radell), Edward LeSaint (Dr. McGregor); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Val Paul; Universal; 1936)
“Well-produced programmer crime drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Arthur Lubin (“Idol of the Crowds”/”I Cover The War”/”Adventurer’s End”) directs this well-produced programmer crime drama. The story is by Arthur Phillips. The writers are Houston Branch, Stuart Palmer and Jefferson Parker.
Dick Sherwood (Henry Hunter) is a park ranger in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. His pal is Pay-Day (Andy Devine), an aspiring ranger who walks around the park with his mule Gertrude. Also at the park is the attractive young lady Ruth Foster (Judith Barrett), who the ranger flirts with. Ruth is expecting to meet in the park for the first time her father James (Ralph Morgan), who has been absent for 18 years while mining in Australia. They awkwardly meet in his nearby secluded cabin.
Dick accompanies Ruth at night to a campfire, where the Yellowstone regular, Old Pete (Raymond Hatton), tells the story of how the gangsters “Tracy Jenkins,” “Anderson” and “Bald Jack,” buried bank robbery loot in the park 20 years ago.
Franklin Ross (Rollo Lloyd) is a guest at the Old Faithful Inn. He’s tailed by the insurance detective John Alexander Hardigan (Alan Hale) and by hoods Marty Ryan (Monrow Owsley) and Dynamite (Paul Fix).
Marty Ryan visits James in his cabin and introduces himself as the son of the gangster Jenkins. He says he knows that James is really the bank robber Anderson who partnered with his father, and Marty demands a fifty-fifty split of the $90,000 buried stolen loot. A geyser hits. James is found dead when blown out of the geyser, and upon further investigation also had a bullet wound.
We learn that the four bank robbers were just released from prison, and all had similar thoughts of recovering the stolen loot. Because the ranger is romancing Ruth, he becomes a suspect in her ex-con father’s death.
REVIEWED ON 2/1/2016 GRADE: B-