Bad guy Kincaid controls the local water supply and plans to do in the other ranchers. Government agent Saunders shows up undercover to do in Kincaid and win the heart of one of his victims Fay Denton.
Kincade controls the area's water supply and is about to force the ranchers into contracts at exorbitant rates. Government Agent Saunders has a plan that will open up the lost river and dry up Kincade's supply. So he gets the ranchers to insist on a clause that Kincade's land will revert to the public if he fails to deliver water. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At 50 minutes, as Singin'Sandy chases the evil Kincaid, a modern power line/telephone pole, double poled high tension line, and even a radio tower can be clearly seen in the background. The power pole is to modern to even try to pass itself off as a telegraph pole, as does the one which can be seen by the side of the road behind Sandy as he gallops past. See more »
Not up to the standards of Wayne films in the following two years...
During the 1930s, John Wayne was NOT the huge star many would have thought, but just one of many minor stars playing in B-westerns to eke out a living. His westerns were made for many so-called 'poverty row' studios in that they had minuscule budgets and limited resources--and very modest pretenses. If you are the critical sort, you can find a ton of problems with these films, though if you are a more charitable sort, you'll see that they are entertaining...provided you understand they are just B-movies...and not particularly distinguished ones at that.
Here in 1933, Wayne was in some of his earliest Bs, so his persona wasn't yet established. Some knuckle-heads thought he'd be great as "Singin' Sandy"--a singing cowboy much in the mold of Gene Autry. The only problem was that Wayne sang about as well as Andy Devine--so they had to dub this singing--and it's painfully obvious it ain't Wayne doing any of this! Seen today, it's laughable as the movie begins and Wayne is crooning a very maudlin tune--especially as he begins to sing each time he's about to have a shootout! You just HAVE to see and hear these scenes to believe them!!
In addition to Wayne, the film has a few other familiar faces. Gabby Hayes is here--like he would be in most of Wayne's Bs. Al St. John is also here for comic relief along with Heinie Conklin. It's not surprising the pair would be included as comics, as both had extensive silent comedy experience. St. John was Fatty Arbuckle's nephew and nemesis in many of his films...and later a very familiar western sidekick in the 1940s. Conklin had worked for Mack Sennett as one of the Keystone Kops. Unfortunately, too often the pair just seemed way, way too dumb to be bad guys--no gang leader is THAT desperate for henchmen!! Plus, they never are nearly as funny as Sandy's singing!!
Like just about all of Wayne's films, here he is a lawman investigating an evil gang leader. In this case, the gang's fighting over water rights. Their scum-bag leader owns the water for the valley and now that his contract is about to expire with the nearby ranchers, he's planning on charging ridiculous prices for the use of the water in order to destroy them. However, he is willing to buy them out--for only $1 and acre! Nice guy, huh? Can Wayne sort all this out before the ranchers either give up or an all-out range war take place?
While this film is diverting, I have to say that compared to the westerns made for this same penny-ante studio in the next couple years (Lone Star), this one is clearly inferior. Most of this is due to the stupid singing gimmick, though St. John and Conklin didn't help matters any.
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