Imprisoned for a murder he did not commit, John Brant escapes and ends up out west where, after giving the local lawmen the slip, he joins up with an outlaw gang. Brant finds out that '... See full summary »
Imprisoned for a murder he did not commit, John Brant escapes and ends up out west where, after giving the local lawmen the slip, he joins up with an outlaw gang. Brant finds out that 'Jones', one of the outlaws he has become friends with, committed the murder that Brant was sent up for, but has no knowledge that anyone was ever put in jail for his crime. Willing to forgive and forget, Brant doesn't realize that 'Jones' has not only fallen for the same pretty shopgirl Brant has, but begins to suspect that Brant is not truly an outlaw. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
While the store proprietor reads a note written by John Brant, there is a sudden brief cut for no apparent purpose to the exact shot of Brant and Conlon riding into town which was used a few moments earlier, before their visit to the store. See more »
[after eluding the sheriff by swimming underwater, John emerges on the far side of the lake at the feet of a tall gunslinger]
Well, I guess you got me.
Come on out, stranger. I ain't the law. You're a pretty smart hombre and you got plenty of nerve. It strikes me that the boss could use somebody like you. What's your name?
[John glares at him]
Smith, ain't it. That's the handle most of you fast travelers use. Aw, it's as good a name as any. Mine's Jones!
[they shake hands]
Say, you're ...
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Many of these 30s low budget westerns start with the "hero wrongly accused of a crime" premise, finally discovering, catching up with and gunning down the real killer; but this one is clearly not only the best 'Lone Star' western, but is, in fact, an enjoyable, well made film, with themes, photography, locations, and stunt work you won't find in hundreds of other 'oaters.'
You'll find at least four different versions out, from the discount b/w (the VINA and who knows how many other $2.00 single film DVD copies; the Platinum "Great American Western" Volume 35 version -- which at least has three other westerns on one DVD) to the new colorized versions, including the excellent digitally restored 23-minute Sterling version with a new, modernized soundtrack -- which just zooms by). There's a reason for all this -- it's a landmark film!
Basically, the theme is not far from the mythic: the good guy (John Wayne) befriends the man who put him in prison (Lane Chandler with equal screen time), and helps him redeem himself. You get underwater photography of John Wayne escaping the sheriff; the zoom in shot of the Sheriff beside the wanted posters of Conlon and Brant, fading into a shot of them facing each other; the extensive location shots of Bronson Canyon and the Bronson 'Cave,' which has been seen in dozens of serial, western, horror and SF films (including the 1956 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers') that show all three entrances, as well as how to get up to the Canyon; the unbelievable stunt work by Yakima Canutt, including leaping up on a hitching post and over a horse to land on another horse, flying and running horse mounts; and the great acting of John Wayne -- I'm not kidding! Kudos to the director and screen writer!
A great introduction to, and high watermark of, 1930s westerns!
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