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Traveling west, former peace officer Frame Johnson and his three friends arrive in Tombstone, a lawless town controlled by the three Northrup brothers. Preceded by his reputation, the town Council tries to get him to take the job of Marshal. He says he will not wear a badge again but seeing the ruthless Northrup murders he accepts. After a killing on both sides, although outnumbered, Johnson and his two remaing friends head to the OK Corral for a shoot out with the two remaining Northrups and their men. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Anyone familiar with the Star Trek episode "Arena" (the one with the battle between Kirk and the Gorn) and the film "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" will recognize the distinctive rock formation that Walter Huston and his group ride past at the beginning of the film: it is located in Vasquez Rocks Park. See more »
"Law and Order" is one of the first (if not THE first) screen treatment of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Curiously enough, although the main characters are clearly based on the Earps and the Clantons, they are called by other names. The "Earps", for example, are called Johnson and the "Clantons", Northrup.
All that aside, "Law and Order" is an excellent action packed western from the early sound era. As such, many of the actors were still learning to act for sound. So you will still see many of the exaggerated facial expressions and gestures that were common in silent films. The gunfight sequence is as good as you will ever see.
Walter Huston plays a Wyatt Earp type character called Frame Johnson who with his brother Luther (Russell Hopton) sidekick Deadwood (Raymond Hatton) and a Doc Holiday type character called Brandt (Harry Carey), ride into the lawless town of Tombstone. There they encounter the ruthless Northrup Brothers (Ralph Ince, Harry Woods, Richard Alexander) culminating in the famous gunfight which takes place, for the most part,in the O.K. barn. Along the way, Huston hangs a dim-witted murderer (a very young and very thin Andy Devine).
Huston plays the lead alternatively between a Gary Cooperish style country bumpkin and the no nonsense law enforcer. Carey as always is excellent as the stove pie hatted gambler Brandt. Woods is his usual sneering villain. Also down the cast list is a young Walter Brennan as a saloon worker and perennial bartender Dewey Robinson as, you guessed it, the bartender.
"Law and Order" is an excellent western of this or any other period. It is a pity that it is not more widely available for viewing.
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