Down 7,261 this week

The Desert Trail (1935)

Passed  -  Western  -  22 April 1935 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.5/10 from 558 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 5 critic

Rodeo star John Scott and his gambler friend Kansas Charlie are wrongly accused of armed robbery. They leave town as fast as they can to go looking for their own suspects in Poker City.


(as Cullen Lewis)


(story), (screenplay)
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 02 Jun 2011
a list of 309 titles
created 17 Apr 2012
a list of 21 titles
created 05 May 2013
a list of 41 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 26 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Desert Trail (1935)

The Desert Trail (1935) on IMDb 5.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Desert Trail.





Complete credited cast:
John Scott / John Jones
Mary Kornman ...
Eddy Chandler ...
Kansas Charlie / Rev. Harry Smith
Carmen Laroux ...
Juanita (as Carmen LaRoux)
Lafe McKee ...
Poker City Sheriff
Al Ferguson ...
Henry Hall ...
Farnsworth (Rodeo Promoter)


Rodeo star John Scott and his gambler friend Kansas Charlie are wrongly accused of armed robbery. They leave town as fast as they can to go looking for their own suspects in Poker City. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caminho do Deserto  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (colorized)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


When Scott and Kansas escape from the gaol, Scott was unarmed but was wearing his gun-belt. As he runs across to the horses, he now has a gun in his holster. See more »


Kansas Charlie, aka Rev. Harry Smith: Do you mean to insinuate that I'm dumb?
John Scott, aka John Jones: No. Dumber!
See more »


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


The Last Lap
Music by Carl Albert Egener
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Duke's Funny Side Buried In Weak Oater
21 September 2013 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

Give the producers at Monogram Pictures (a. k. a. Lone Star) some credit: They gave John Wayne here a chance to try some comedy, and the Duke delivers. It's a shame the result is buried in another lame C- western with a poor script and below-par acting.

Rodeo rider John Scott (Wayne) and his gambler companion Kansas Charlie (Eddy Chandler) get mixed up in a case of mistaken identity when they are blamed for stealing money from a crooked rodeo and murdering its promoter. Lying low in another town under assumed names, they find themselves on the wrong side of the law again, thanks to the machinations of the promoter's real killers.

Watching Wayne cut up here with Chandler is kind of fun, especially early on. Director Cullen Lewis starts us off with a scene where the two are playing cards, and a tight close-up shows Kansas Charlie dealing himself an ace from the bottom of the deck. Scott catches him, though he's not angry at the duplicity so much as disgusted by the awkwardness of the move.

"You're terrible!" Scott exclaims. "Try any of those phony tricks at Rattlesnake Gulch, they'll run you out quicker than they did at the last place!"

Watching Scott and Kansas Charlie bicker is fun for a while. Unfortunately, that's about all "The Desert Trail" has to offer. The conflict with the killers is awkwardly presented and left unresolved, even after one of them returns to steal Scott's money and Kansas Charlie's watch. Instead of trying to clear their names or catch the thief, Scott and K. C. hightail it to another town, where they meet pretty storekeeper Anne (Mary Kornman) and develop a new line of bickering over her. Seeing Wayne play a rather crooked character is kind of interesting; unfortunately this Scott guy and his pal are pretty dumb, too.

Wayne enthusiasts may find his performance as noteworthy as I did; they may also like seeing Paul Fix, a regular in many Wayne movies, playing one of the killers who's also Anne's brother. Fix is terrible in this movie, perhaps because he was a busy guy (he appeared in 14 other movies in 1935 alone) and the character is so badly written. He doesn't want to kill and steal, but his nasty partner Pete (Al Ferguson) keeps threatening to turn him in if he doesn't go along. How would Pete do this without incriminating himself? Scott and Kansas aren't the only two characters in "Desert Trail" not long on brains.

The film ambles along fretfully, with odd shoot-outs (odd because Wayne is often shooting at good guys) and cruel horse stunts (they tripped the horses in full gallop with wire, and a couple of the stunts here appear to have been fatal) breaking up largely comic interludes involving Scott, Kansas, and Anne. Kornman, a fetching woman with skills honed from her childhood career in silent "Our Gang" comedies, plays well off Wayne, especially when he tries to schmooze her by making her climb a ladder for some "nerve tonic." She points out nerve tonic is something he doesn't seem to need.

With some better scripting, either in the way of a coherent cowboy actioner or a more focused comedy, "Desert Trail" might have risen above the batch of cheapo films Wayne starred in in his own desert years, after "The Big Trail" and before "Stagecoach." But it just doesn't gel enough, or go anywhere interesting beyond the occasional funniness.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Solid Performance. orionstarman
Background Music fab-1
Discuss The Desert Trail (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: