Now we're on the weak end of the 'Lone Star' westerns. Unless you've never seen any of them, this is a retread of several tropes from earlier films in the series. If this is your first, the surprises at the end (which is well edited) will be new. Sorry to have to spoil your fun.We get that dynamite is needed to clear the trail; dynamite is used to get water flowing in the superior first film 'Riders of Destiny' (1933). We get that John Wayne has really been sent by the government to work undercover and infiltrate the gang of outlaws; as also seen in 'Riders of Destiny,' and countless other early thirties westerns such as 'The Man From Hell's Edges' (1932) with Bob Steele, etc.We get Lucille Brown as the "Prairie Flower," and Leroy Mason as the head villain, also from the better 'Texas Terror' (1935) in which Lucille gets more screen time than the villain, and when finding out that John Wayne is indeed a good guy at the end,…
John Wayne rallies George "Gabby" Hayes and the other residents of Rainbow Valley against a gang of bandits who patrol the myriad roads out of town, stealing the fruits of the local gold mines and are now sabotaging the construction of a new main road.Even though there isn't as much action in this as there is in other Wayne Lone Star productions, it's still a pleasant enough diversion with at least one great action sequence where Wayne and a dozen or so men with rifles route the bad guys, while Gabby chases them off in his horseless carriage, throwing sticks of nitro as they flee!This time around, Wayne's stunt double and B-western nemesis, Yakima Canutt, is nowhere to be found. He must've went on vacation.
I can't write a lot on films like this. There were hundreds of low budget westerns with similar stories so they all seem almost the same. However, I liked several moments in this one, particularly a chase sequence between Wayne, Gabby Hayes and the bad men. It is Gabby who ends up the hero here, throwing dynamite down at the villains while driving a car which doesn't blow em' up, just slows em' down, scares em', and ultimately, drives em' off. It is presented humorously, making the predictable story and obvious conclusion easier to watch. It would take a couple more dozen of these before Wayne would rise to "A" list stardom with "Stagecoach", but these films passed many an hour for film fans on matinée days in a more innocent time.
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