When Mort loses his and Ken's money at poker, Goss gets him to rob the stage. He is captured, identified by his palomino horse. Ken tries to clear him by robbing a stage while riding a palomino, but he also gets caught.
Our hero, Ken (played by Ken Maynard), takes in a misguided Mort Clark (played by Paul Fix) who's heart is in the right place but his judgement is a little off. Mort turns out to be the brother of Helen Clark (played by the beautiful Helen Mack), whom Ken had met (and became infatuated with) while on a trip back East. Mort can't face his sister because of his shameful past and allows Ken to help him turn his life around. Mort gets his head on straight only to get duped into playing a fixed card game - and losing not only his dignity but all of Ken's money. In an attempt to right a wrong, Mort gets himself deeper into trouble. As if things can't get worse, Helen shows up the same time that Mort is brought into town in handcuffs for armed robbery. Ken must quickly swing into action to restore Mort's name and to catch the real criminals. Written by
Daryl Curtis <email@example.com>
If you like Westerns where the good guy wears the white hat, saves the day, and gets the girl - then you will love this film!
This film is very entertaining for many reasons. First of all, if you like Westerns, especially the type where the hero wears the white hat, saves the day, and gets the girl - then you will love this film. The acting is actually pretty good for this type of Western. Remember, this film came out in 1933 and a lot of actors were transitioning over from Silents. Ken Maynard was very popular in Silents and transitioned over without a problem. In this film he plays Ken, who is the hero (we never know his last name). The other two actors of note are Paul Fix and Helen Mack. Paul Fix plays Mort Clark, a man who constantly seems to get into trouble no matter how hard he tries to get his life in order. He meets up with Ken in a very interesting way, which is probably one of the best parts of the film. Paul Fix also played the role of Dr. Mark Piper in the second pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966) of the original Star Trek series. The main reason for my interest in this film was Helen Mack. Helen doesn't make her appearance in this film until half way into the story. She is quite attractive and has a few memorable scenes. However, her role is far too small and she is not seen nearly enough, in my opinion. But she does make a lasting impression.
This film is definitely filmed in California. It is hard to tell where, exactly, but from all the scenery I would guess a lot of it was filmed in the Sierra Mountains. The desert scenes were most likely shot at Red Rock Canyon. The movie has a fast pace, but feels like it is longer than its 1 hour run time. The plot is clever and somewhat original, with bits and pieces being used in many later Westerns. The fight scenes are typical of what you would see in Silent films - very dramatic and overacted. Several other interesting remnants of the Silent era is the length of time between dialogue. The dialogue does not flow naturally, but is broken up by lengthy pauses. I suppose when a Silent film was shot, there had to be enough time to transition from a scene to the dialogue box, and back to the scene. It also may be that actors were careful to clearly speak their lines so that the audience could "keep up with the dialogue." For whatever reason, it can be distracting and somewhat unintentionally humorous. In addition to "slow" dialogue, the writers felt compelled to have the actor describe an action before implementing the action. For example, when Ken and the sheriff are following the bad guys into the mountains, they are positioned behind some big rocks. In order to conceal themselves, Ken tells the sheriff that they should hide behind the rocks so as not to be noticed. Now that action would seem pretty common sense to most people - but there again sound was relatively new so I guess the writers wanted to make sure the audience kept up with the story. Who knows, but it is interesting to watch for these things. One final remnant of the Silent film era is the continued use of over-exaggerated facial expressions to get the point across. Obviously this was a critical element of acting without sound - but totally unnecessary in a film that had sound.
The bottom line is that this film is not "campy". The dialogue isn't Shakespeare, there is plenty of action, a good plot, plenty of scenery, and a moral to the story. And, yes, our hero gets the girl in the end - and we all live happily ever after. This film is available on video through several distributers. I highly recommend purchasing this for your collection if you love Westerns and old films.
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