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The Telegraph Trail (1933)

 |  Western  |  18 March 1933 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 294 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

A greedy businessman-turned-renegade foments an Indian uprising against the coming telegraph to perpetuate his economic stranglehold on the territory.

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(screenplay), (dialogue)
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Title: The Telegraph Trail (1933)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Duke ...
Duke - John's Horse
Frank McHugh ...
Corporal Tippy
...
Alice Keller
Otis Harlan ...
Uncle Zeke Keller
Albert J. Smith ...
Gus Lynch
...
High Wolf
Lafe McKee ...
Lafe
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Storyline

Greedy opportunist Gus Lynch, in order to continue to gouge townsfolk for necessary supplies, convinces High Wolf and his Indian tribe that they need to prevent the completion of the new telegraph lines or their tribe will be wiped out by a new influx of white men. Receiving an incomplete message warning of a white man's involvement in the recent Indian uprisings, cavalry scout John Trent is sent in to rectify the situation. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Trilha do Telégrafo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the film that James Cagney is shown as an example of talking pictures (and the reason for his impending unemployment) in Footlight Parade (1933). See more »

Goofs

Shot of the cavalry charging, you can see the tracks of the camera car. See more »

Quotes

Gus Lynch: You are wise, High Wolf. Them singin' wires would call the soldiers and that would mean the finish for your braves.
High Wolf: Good. Gus Lynch good friend to Red Man.
Gus Lynch: I tell you only what is good for High Wolf and his people.
High Wolf: Ugh!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits list "Duke" second, closing credits list "Duke" last. See more »

Connections

Featured in Footlight Parade (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played by the men at Pine Bluff, including John Wayne on harmonica
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent acting can't completely overcome the weak writing...
13 September 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This early John Wayne B-movie is apparently not in the public domain--unlike many of his early films. This Leon Schlessinger film has been released by Warner Brothers/Turner Classic Movies instead of the usual cheap public domain videos you see in bargain bins. Unfortunately, however, despite this higher pedigree (and a slightly better quality print), this isn't all it's cracked up to be--there are no DVD extras nor are there any captions. It's a rather unimpressive release for Warner/TCM.

Instead of the usual sidekicks (such as the ubiquitous Gabby Hayes), this one features Frank McHugh. While he's a very common actor in Schlessinger (whose studio was soon bought by Warner) and Warner Brothers films of the era, I can only recall a few times where he appeared in westerns. He was more of the comic relief in contemporary period pieces--though he does a very nice job here and looked pretty comfortable on a horse.

The film begins with a group of telegraph installers being attacked by American-Indians. These Indiand, however, were orchestrated by a jerk named Lynch--who wanted to keep the telegraph and civilization away in order to force the settlers to deal with only him and his over-priced supplies. Although one of the telegraph men is shot, he's still able to relay a message to the fort many miles away--and Wayne and McHugh come to investigate. The message told what was happening but the man couldn't finish his transmission--and Wayne is trying to discover who the white man is who is stirring up all the Indian trouble. This is a weak point of the film, as it's 100% obvious who is behind it--there's no suspense whatsoever! Later, a lady overhears Lynch's plans to attack another group of telegraph installers. I have no idea why she didn't just tell Wayne. Instead, she devised a ridiculously complicated and sure to fail method to alert Wayne without revealing her identity. Why....?! And, as she was a witness to the conspiracy between Lynch and the Indian (Yakima Canutt), why didn't she just tell everyone so that Lynch would be arrested and...um...lynched! Then, they all could have gone out for pizza and had a party. Instead, the film went on for another 30 minutes---climaxing with a clichéd Indian attack--which is headed off at the last minutes by (surprise of surprises) the US Cavalry! The are absolutely no major surprises in this film. As usual, Wayne is very good and McHugh was a much better than normal sidekick...but even these couldn't overcome bad writing--even by cheap B-movie standards! It is entertaining...but a bit brainless.


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