2 user 1 critic

Smoking Guns (1934)

Accused of a murder he did not commit, Ken leaves the country. Three years later Evans finds him in the jungle. When Evans dies, Ken seeing the resemblance, assumes his identity and returns to clear his name.



(screenplay), (original story)


Complete credited cast:
Ken Masters
Alice Adams
Ranger Dick Evans
Hank Stone
Silas Stone
Henchman Biff
Ranger Captain Adams
Bob Masters (as Ed Coxen)
Henchman Slim Watts
Martin Turner ...
Etta McDaniel ...
Clementine (as Etta McDaniels)
Tarzan ...
Tarzan (as Tarzan the Wonder Horse)


Accused of a murder he did not commit, Ken leaves the country. Three years later Evans finds him in the jungle. When Evans dies, Ken seeing the resemblance, assumes his identity and returns to clear his name.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Western





Release Date:

11 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De Pistola em Punho  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

An effective blending of Western and Gothic styles.
6 August 2001 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** Scary westerns are usually hard to come by. We often had to settle for things like CURSE OF THE UNDEAD (1957) where a mysterious gunfighter (Michael Pate) never loses a showdown because he is an undead vampire; THE FIEND THE WALKED THE WEST which is a terror film disguised as a western or BILLY THE KID MEETS DRACULA (1965) which I should not even bring up. SMOKING GUNS is a hard film to find but well worth the search because it succeeds in being a terror film, a western, and a psychgological drama all at once. Ken Maynard plays a kid whose rancher father has vanished. Ken thinks the local cattle baron is to blame and confronts him. There is a fight and the cattle barons cowardly son sees his chance to take over the rich empire. He kills his dad and frames Ken who has to go on the run. So far it is still a standard western but stick around. All this has happened in just the first reel! 3 years later a deputy tracks Ken to a steaming, murky swamp and is determined to bring him back. Defeated by time and caring little now Ken goes with him but en route they are attacked by gigantic alligators who swamp their tiny boat and severely mangle the deputy's leg! (The gators are mechanical but the editing in this sequence is superb and the action is never less than riveting. Ken has to amputate the mans gangrenous leg but the deputy, not wanted to live as a cripple, shoots himself. This gives Ken the inspiration to disguise himself as the deputy (which he accomplishes by dyeing his hair black) and returning to his former home to get the goods on the real killer. The deputy's fiancee knows Ken is not her intended right away but believes his story about what happened in the swamp. The murderer does not recognise him though (just keep saying "It's only a movie . . .only a movie. . ."). Ken's home is now a crumbling ruin and people think is is haunted because sometimes they see a dishelved madman on the balcony screaming wildly before vanishing. The house is full of secret passages and Ken goes to look for evidence when he is met by the madman. But wait! Could it be? Ken looks beneath the matted beard and wild eyes and recognises his dad! He wasn't gunned down after all, just hit on the head and left for dead. A second blow on the head from one of the villains henchmen restores his memory ("It's only a movie . . .only a movie . . .")and father and son team up to stop the evil cattle rancher. But can two men stand alone against the greedy killer and his paid posse? For a movie that runs barely an hour there is a lot crammed into SMOKING GUNS. It is without a doubt an effective scary mystery with elemoents of terror. The alligator attack is very memorable and scenes in the dark corridors of the old mansion are very well done and appropriately atmospheric. There is some racial humour typical of the era involving a scared-of-his-own-shadow black farmhand named "Cinders" and his girlfriend. Amazingly when the chips are down even he grabs a gun to defend his buddy Ken, shattering a stereotype even if only for one movie. If you like this one you might also want to check out MYSTERY RANCH (1932)offering Charles Middleton as the most unlikable villain any western ever offered.

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