In old California Captain John Holmes must convince landowner Don Jose Cantares to register his land or face having it become public domain. Don Luis Gonzales, with rather selfish motives, is trying to convince him to do otherwise. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"B" Western has Captain John Holmes (John Wayne) being sent by the government to try and explain to some Spanish folks that they must register their land grants or they will end up losing them by them falling into the public domain. Holmes must battle some greedy land stealers who want the most valuable land to fall into the public domain so that they can get it at a better price. This was one of six early films Wayne made for Warner and it's not one of the best. I think it goes without saying that many of the "B" Westerns from this era were very short on plot and many of them didn't differentiate themselves from countless others that were being released. This one here features Wayne with Duke and that's pretty much it. Usually I find myself entertained during these films but that wasn't the case here as I found the story to be interesting but that's about it. The movie didn't contain any good action scenes, the fights were rather boring and the entire subplot with the love story was deadly boring. The most energy comes from some unintentionally funny moments including one sequence where Wayne saves his love interest (Ruth Hall) only to have her jealous, wannabe boyfriend (Donald Reed) stick him up. How Wayne keeps flirting with the woman even though he has a gun on him had me laughing out loud. Even funnier is that the so-called boyfriend keeps getting more and more steamed yet Wayne never seems to notice. Other funny moments come from a troubadour (Luis Alberni) who actually keeps the film moving with his performance. Wayne isn't too bad, although he really doesn't have much to do except stand tall and act tough. Hall isn't too bad as the love interest but the screenplay doesn't do her any favors. Reed is pretty bland as the bad guy, although the unintentional laughs are actually needed here. The story of the land falling into the public domain could have made for an entertaining story but director Wright brings no life or energy to the film and in the end it's just too boring even at only 57-minutes.
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