The Star Packer (1934)

Passed  |   |  Romance, Western  |  30 July 1934 (USA)
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A gang working for The Shadow is terrorizing the town. John Travers decides to take on the job of sheriff and do something about it.


(as R.N. Bradbury)


(story) (as R.N. Bradbury) , (screenplay) (as R.N. Bradbury)
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Complete credited cast:
John Travers
Verna Hillie ...
Matt Matlock (as George Hayes)
Billy Franey ...
Henchman in the Stump
Eddie Parker ...
Henchman Parker (as Ed Parker)
Henchman Mason
Thomas G. Lingham ...
Sheriff Al Davis (as Tom Lingham)


John Travers and his Indian companion Yak are after the mysterious Shadow and his gang. When Sheriff Davis is killed, Travers becomes Sheriff. Catching two gang members, he learns of the room where the gang gets their orders from behind a fake wall safe and makes plans to trap the Shadow. Written by Maurice VanAuken <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He Dared Death In The Outlaw's Lair! See more »


Romance | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 July 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shadow Gang  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Balsley and Phillips Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Matlock ranch-house is the same house as Juanita's house in The Desert Trail (1935) and as Malgrove's house in Blue Steel (1934). See more »


Despite the title "The Star Packer", Travers never wears a badge at any time in the film. See more »


U.S. Marshal John Travers: Whaddya find out?
Yak: Two men gonna hold up stage - Coyote Canyon. Much money on stage.
U.S. Marshal John Travers: Well, it looks like we're going to have our hands full.
Yak: More trouble - more fun!
U.S. Marshal John Travers: That's one way to look at it.
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of John Wayne (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

"More trouble, more fun."
2 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lone Star Productions sure churned them out in the 1930's, and "Star Packer" has the feel of one of the more rushed ones. John Wayne is U.S. Marshal John Travers, investigating a crooked hoodlum known only as "The Shadow", responsible for stealing cattle, stage holdups and the like, and giving orders from behind the door of a phony wall safe. Yakima Canutt is Travers' trusty Indian sidekick, appropriately named as... well, "Yak".

Early on, we find out that Cattlemens Union head Matt Matlock (George pre-Gabby Hayes) is really The Shadow; the dead giveaway is when he offers to buy out his (supposed) niece Anita's half of the Matlock Ranch, since "this is no place for a girl". As Anita, Verna Hillie doesn't have much to do in the film, although in a comic moment, she gets to use a six shooter to blast the butt of one of the villains in a night time scare raid.

There are a few curiosities in the film - for one, Wayne's character alternately rides a white horse and a dark horse in the first half of the film. In what could have been a neat device, a hollowed out tree stump used by a henchman is located right in the middle of the street. And finally, the movie doesn't truly live up to it's name, as Sheriff Travers never wears a badge throughout the film, that is, a star packer without a star.

The horse chases, the runaway stage scenes, the stagecoach off the cliff (another curiosity, the horses conveniently get loose from the stage) are all pretty standard stuff. But John Wayne fans will want to see this one for the charisma he displayed early on in his career. For those more critical, the white kerchiefs worn around the forehead by the good guy posse could only mean that they all had a headache.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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