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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>
"The Man From Monterey" was the last of six "B" features that John Wayne (and his horse "Duke") made for Warner Bros. for the 1932-33 season. Warners would get out of the series "B" westerns for a while until they made a series with Dick Foran later on in the 30s.
This story takes place in 1848 California after the state joined the USA. Landowners with old Spanish land grants are being asked to register their properties with the government or else the land will fall into public domain and be there for the taking.
Don Pablo Gonzales (Francis Ford) is trying to discourage fellow landowner Don Jose Castanares (Lafe McKee) from registering his property and then grabbing it for himself. His son Don Luis (Donald Reed) is courting Castanares' daughter Dolores (Ruth Hall) hoping to join the two families (and their properties) through marriage, if all else fails.
Captain John Holmes (Wayne) is sent to see why certain property owners have not registered their land. Naturally, Holmes is headed for the Castanares spread.
In the local town saloon, a wayfaring troubadour named Felipe (Luis Alberni) has a confrontation with Don Luis who has come to see his love sick girl friend Anita Garcia (Nena Quartero). Holmes intervenes and he and Felipe team up together.
On the way to the ranch, Holmes manages to rescue Dolores from a bogus attack on her coach by Don Luis' men designed to make him out a hero in Dolores' eyes.
Holmes manages to convince Don Jose to register his land before the impending deadline. On his way to register, Don Jose is kidnapped and imprisoned by Don Pablo's men. Meanwhile Holmes and Felipe have befriended an American bandit named Jake Morgan (Slim Whitaker) and his men who also plan to move on any unregistered properties.
In the ensuing action to free Don Jose we get to see John Wayne wield a sword. Let's just say that as a swashbuckler, Wayne made a great gunfighter.
The "acting" in this oater is uniformly awful. The attempts at Spanish accents are laughable. Wayne still had a long six years ahead of him in "B" westerns before achieving stardom in John Ford's "Stagecoach" (1939). Coincidently, Francis Ford, John Ford's brother appears in this film. Also in the cast are Chris Pin Martin as Manuel, Don Pablo's foreman and Tom London as Lt. Adams. Ken Maynard and his horse "Tarzan" appear in stock footage from their silent movie days.
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