Jim and Buddy decide to follow their pal Tater-bug who left them for another job. No sooner do they arrive than Tater-bug gets shot in the back. Jim suspects Joe Weller but has no proof. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Not copyrighted. An Amity Production, released through Tiffany: 7 January 1932. 62 minutes. Available on a good Echo Bridge DVD.
COMMENT: This early 1930's Ken Maynard western has curiosity value more than anything else. The diffused quality of the photography indicates that the camera was enclosed in a sound-proof booth an indication that is borne out by the fact that camera movement is limited to slight panning. Music is limited to the front and end credits and sound effects are poor. No attempt has been made to mix sound effects and dialogue tracks, all the dialogue in fact being recorded on a single track with no overlapping. These limitations give the film a rather primitive air which the flat photography and drab sets re-enforce.
Burdened with his cumbersome camera, B. Reeves Eason can do little with the direction. Later to become a specialist in shooting action sequences for major-budget spectacles, Eason reveals none of that talent in this film. The action sequences here are poorly staged. He even resorts to the lazy device of speeding up the climactic fist fight to give it a bit of punch with a lamentable lack of success.
Even by Z-grade standards, the support cast is second-rate. Ruth Hiatt is especially poor. And I am not a Frank Rice fan. Admittedly, he has a good motive for seizing center stage from Maynard, but I still don't warm to him. Maynard himself displays a very pleasing personality here. And it must be admitted that, whatever they lack, the script and direction have sufficient pace to put the film across for Maynard's devoted fans who are willing to overlook the movie's many disabilities.
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