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The Man from Utah (1934)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Romance | 15 May 1934 (USA)
In a horse-riding rodeo contest bad guys want John Weston to lose. When he doesn't go along they add some insurance: a poisoned needle just under his saddle.


(as Robert Bradbury)


(story), (screenplay)

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Ted Hayden impersonates a wanted man and joins Gentry's gang only to learn later that Gentry was the one who killed his father. He saves Virginia Winters' dad's ranch from Gentry and also rescues his long-lost brother Spud.

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John Martin is a government agent working under cover. Leading citizen Morgan calls in gunman Galt who blows Martin's cover.

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Complete credited cast:
Dolores (as Anita Compillo)
Spike Barton (as Edward Peil)
Marshal George Higgins (as George Hayes)


The Marshal sends John Weston to a rodeo to see if he can find out who is killing the rodeo riders who are about to win the prize money. Barton has organized the rodeo and plans to leave with all the prize money put up by the townspeople. When it appears that Weston will beat Barton's rider, he has his men prepare the same fate for him that befell the other riders. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem de Utah  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Encore-Westerns Library Print)


| (colorized)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


The film is set in a time when horses and stagecoaches were the means of transportation, but a sign in the background when Weston prevents the bank robbery announces a rodeo on May 1st, 1932. The clothing of the women is also consistent with the thirties. See more »


Marshal George Higgins: It seems mighty funny to me that every time this gang organizes a rodeo, their own men win all the first prizes. When it begins to look like an outsider is going to win, he gets sick. Two or three has even died from it.
John Weston: Well, you can't arrest them for that, Marshal.
Marshal George Higgins: No, maybe not. But it's might peculiar that when these outsides fall off them top broncs, they're suffering from snakebite. I tell ya, it just ain't natural.
John Weston: What do you want me to do? Get snake bit?
See more »


Remade as Trouble in Texas (1937) See more »


Sing Me a Song of the Wild
Written by Robert N. Bradbury
Sung by John Wayne (dubbed by Jack Kirk) in the opening scene
See more »

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User Reviews

Rodeo Racketeers Run Out of Luck!
19 November 2007 | by (Easley, South Carolina) – See all my reviews

Even if The Man From Utah looks like a cheap production with its spliced in scenes from a rodeo, it still is a lot of fun to watch. Having been to a rodeo the night before viewing this John Wayne western, the movie was all the more interesting for me. Those old rodeo scenes are exciting because they are real! It is also interesting to compare the calf roping techniques of seventy plus years ago to the way rodeo competitors do it today.

Looking too deep into the story shows its flaws. Flowing with the scenes as they are presented makes viewing easier. What is really missing most is the background of the character, John Weston. We know nothing about him, and for that reason it is odd that the marshal immediately hires him to go undercover at what is suspected to be a fixed rodeo. We know John Wayne is playing a good guy, but when the marshal just says he knew that John Weston is a good guy after having met him minutes before a robbery... that is a bit of a stretch. It is possible that the original story had more depth, but a little more revealing dialog about the character of John Weston would have helped the final product of this movie. At least The Man From Utah was not haphazardly edited together like The Lawless Frontier, leaving some continuity holes to ponder.

If you want to see an outstanding performance by George Hayes before he was to become known as "Windy Halliday" or "Gabby Whitaker" this is a great example. Even if Hayes did not have any more screen time than normal, he had perfected what it took to look good on screen by 1934.

In contrast, John Wayne looked good on screen, but in The Man From Utah he sometimes tripped through some of his lines. Usually this is attributed to Wayne's "delivery." Not this time. That in itself is not a bad thing. The more the an actor looked like a genuine cowboy trying to play one in a movie, the better he was liked. Wayne was working through another quickly made low budget production, and he was always improving. The Man From Utah was another stepping stone in John Wayne's path to greatness.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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