Tim's young brother Terry goes to play poker with honest George Beck. Saloon owner Coldeye says he is Beck and then shoots Terry. Just before he dies, Terry tells Tim that it was Beck that ...
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Tim's young brother Terry goes to play poker with honest George Beck. Saloon owner Coldeye says he is Beck and then shoots Terry. Just before he dies, Terry tells Tim that it was Beck that shot him. Tim, a card sharp, gets a job dealing for Beck and plans to ruin him financially and then kill him not knowing he has the wrong man. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
One of over 100 Columbia features, mostly Westerns, sold to Hygo Television Films in the 1950s, which marketed them under the name of Gail Pictures; opening credits were redesigned, with some titles misspelled, the credit order of the players rearranged, some names misspelled, and new end titles attached, thus eliminating any evidence of their Columbia roots. Apparently, the original material was not retained in most of the cases, and the films have survived, even in the Sony library, only with these haphazardly created replacement opening and end credits. See more »
"I'll tell you boys, they say the hand is quicker than the eye!"
The idea used here probably appeared in other B Westerns but I can't think of one right off hand. Tim Allen's (Tim McCoy) younger brother Terry (Carroll Nye) is swindled in a card game and shot in the back by outlaw saloon owner Coldeye Cornell (Al Ferguson). Prior to that, Coldeye used the name of an honest rival, George Beck (Robert Homans) to introduce himself to Terry, and it was that name given to older brother Tim so he could even the score. The mistaken identity is taken just so far before McCoy's character figures things out and hunts down the bad guys.
The movie starts out a bit like a silent film and it's a few minutes before we hear anyone speak. I found that rather interesting, as talkies were still kind of new in 1931, so it almost seemed like the picture was experimenting with the new format. Once under way, Tim McCoy makes an appearance out on the range with some fellow wranglers, and entertains with some card dealing sleight of hand that looked pretty clever if it was for real and not a camera trick. Tim deals himself an Ace of Spades, declaring it the worst card in the deck, so that gives the viewer an idea of the kind of luck he'll run into.
Now I never got the impression in any other picture I've seen McCoy in that he fancied himself a ladies man, but in this one he flirts rather brazenly with young Helen Beck (Doris Hill) following a save from some of Coldeye's henchmen she was trying to ride away from. Actually, McCoy looked rather handsome in this flick whereas most of the other pictures I've seen him in were of later vintage where he was at least a decade older. I just never considered him a matinée idol in the same vein as an Autry or Rogers.
Say, this was rather odd. Right behind the bartender in the Lone Star Saloon there was a sign for Crème de Mint. I would never have guessed there would be much call for a cordial in the Wild West, who knew?
For most of the story itself there seemed to be a disjointed feel to it. It felt like circumstances were forced to fit a narrative instead of flowing naturally. A case in point was Lone Star gal Mollie (Polly Ann Young) busting in on Tim when he was about to plug the real George Beck after dealing the Golden Eagle bankroll down to nothing. It's like he took Mollie's word for it that Coldeye was the culprit who killed his brother and quickly switched gears in mid-stream to hunt down the real killer, much like O.J. Simpson might have done if he had a smattering of the facts.
Another example was the finale when Tim caught up to Coldeye and snagged him off his horse. They exchanged some brief fisticuffs until Coldeye rolled down the side of a hill, and wound up dead. Heck, I recall doing the same kind of thing as a kid for fun on a similar looking hillside and never felt the worse for wear. Oh well, I guess they had to get some mileage out of the title.
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