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 <email@example.com>
Poverty row western is more of a puzzlement than entertaining...
JOHN WAYNE is slim and lithe as a cowboy who anoints himself sheriff after the bad guys rub too many of the town's citizens out. From then on it's like watching a Hopalong Cassidy movie except this one is from Lone Star and is obviously a poverty row project with a few interesting moments for anyone who stays with it for 53 minutes.
The tree stump idea puzzled me, as did the wall vault which served as the device behind which The Shadow gave orders--and the whole plot is so rushed that there's little time to digest any of the backstory that leads up to the main storyline. A pretty girl is the romantic interest for Wayne but has little to do and GEORGE HAYES is beardless for this one before he grew his trademark stubble.
Actually, the slender story seems like something borrowed from a Zane Grey western--the one where the girl is part owner of a ranch, the bad guy is actually someone she knows but never suspects, and a cowboy with strong capabilities comes along and rescues her when she's in danger.
The covered wagon going over the cliff into water is a neat sight toward the end and some of the stunt work involving riders and horses is on the mark. YAKIMA CANUTT is fun to watch as Wayne's Indian sidekick, a sort of Tonto to Wayne who rides a white horse.
Passes the time quickly, but is clearly John Wayne as an apprentice actor.
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