|Index||5 reviews in total|
Though in the film John Wayne is second billed to star Tim McCoy he
actually has very little to do. Wayne is in the unaccustomed role of
Wayne and Wallace MacDonald are the last two ranch hands working for Tim McCoy. He's lost is ranch to crooked banker Wheeler Oakman, but being the good boss and friend he is to Wayne and MacDonald he finds them jobs with neighbor and sweetheart Alice Day.
That might be short term employment for Oakman has designs on the ranch and on Day. Those designs on Day ain't covered by the cowboy code.
McCoy goes off prospecting for a couple of years and no sooner is he back than he's framed for an express company holdup and killing resulting from same. The rest of the movie is McCoy's fight to prove his innocence and save Day from a fate worse than death.
Wheeler Oakman seems to be enjoying his role as villain, he's hamming it up in the best Snidely Whiplash tradition. And Day makes a perfect Little Nell.
Tim McCoy, a silent western star, seems to have made the transition to sound easily enough. He's a stern and upright hero who's bound and determined prove his innocence.
Note good performances by Tully Marshall as the father figure sheriff of the area who believes in McCoy and a young Walter Brennan as his less than scrupulous deputy.
My VHS of this film is 58 minutes and I note that the running time is 64 minutes. That might explain some gaps in the story and maybe it was John Wayne who got cut out.
This was the last Columbia movie that John Wayne ever appeared in. It seems as though Harry Cohn thought Wayne was putting the moves on a young starlet who rejected Cohn's advances even though Wayne wasn't involved. But after the Duke became a star and a legend, there wasn't enough money in the world that would get him to appear in a Columbia Studios film.
But realizing this is a B western, it's not the worst one I've ever seen although somehow I doubt we'll ever see a director's cut.
Though there seem to be some script holes, generally this is well
written with some very good dialog.
Tim McCoy was one of the best cowboys and was also a pretty good actor.
As noted elsewhere, John Wayne was second billed, but had only a small part. Wallace MacDonald, as his buddy, does more, but his constant use of "y'all" to one person is one of the script's major flaws.
As sheriff, Tully Marshall has one of his best roles. It is well written and very well played.
Alice Day -- billed as "Alice Fay" on the DVD I own, from Canadian Disc Plaza, on a "Classic Westerns" collection of supposedly John Wayne movies -- is the least capable of the cast, but even she brightens up as the story progresses.
Bad guys Wheeler Oakman and Richard Alexander also shone and Walter Brennan, as usual, stood out in one of his early appearances.
Director D. Ross Lederman showed a lot of skill in his framing and camera angles. He was held in high-enough esteem to have stayed busy nearly his entire life with dozens of movies and dozens more TV shows.
I highly recommend "Two-Fisted Law," despite the pointless generic title.
After losing his ranch to a crooked moneylender, Tim McCoy leaves town
to become a silver miner, returning some time later with a plan to save
a lady friend's ranch and possibly take back his own, only to become a
Although an enjoyable western with a determined performance by McCoy, this is mainly notable for a supporting role featuring John Wayne, who despite having a few starring turns, isn't given anything to do even though he's second billed!
Third billed Walter Brennan fares much better as a corrupt sheriff's deputy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you are a die-hard John Wayne fan and this is why you are watching
this film, you are bound to be disappointed. He's in the film but just
doesn't have much to do. His personality is practically
non-existent---mostly because this is such an early film for Wayne and
his B-persona hadn't yet been established. Instead, it's clearly a Tim
McCoy starring vehicle--and an adequate one at that. I've seen much
better McCoy westerns (he's one of my favorite in this low-budget
genre) but it is passably good entertainment.
The film begins with Tim Clark (McCoy) having to give up his ranch. It seems that he's had some business setbacks and the man holding the note to the property is demanding his money now. Having no choice, he leaves and is gone for two years. In the meantime, the baddie, Russell, is now trying to take Betty Owens' ranch as well--or force her to marry him. But, before this evil deed can take place, Clark returns and offers to pay off Betty's debt! And, it just so happens that about the same time McCoy makes this $10,000 payment that the Wells Fargo office is robbed and the clerk is killed. Naturally Clark coming into so much money seemingly out of no where makes everyone suspicious and Russell insists that the nice Sheriff (Tom Tully) arrest Tim. But by the end, naturally, Tim has not only found the real robbers and won the girl--and shown that he is LEGALLY a very wealthy man.
Old western fans will also be pleased to know that Walter Brennan is also in the film. Uncharacteristically, he plays an evil henchman and you may not recognize him at first because he's young AND sounds very different--before he lost his teeth in an accident.
In 1932, the 25 year old John Wayne went down poverty row with the independent production companies. In this film, he developed his fist fight scenarios, adding a bit of humour to his acting as well as drawing out his romantic side.
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