IMDb > The Desert Trail (1935)
The Desert Trail
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Desert Trail (1935) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 27 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
The Desert Trail -- 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.
The Desert Trail -- Falsely accused of killing the paymaster (Henry Hall) of the Rattlesnake Gulch rodeo, John Scott (Wayne) and his girl-chasing partner Kansas Charlie (Eddy Chandler) trail the real killer, Pete (Al Ferguson), and his unwilling underling Jim (Paul Fix) to Poker City.


User Rating:
5.4/10   609 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 36% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Lindsley Parsons (story)
Lindsley Parsons (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Desert Trail on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 April 1935 (USA) See more »
Rodeo star John Scott and his gambler friend Kansas Charlie are wrongly accused of armed robbery. They... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The Original "Alias Smith and Jones" See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... John Scott / John Jones
Mary Kornman ... Anne

Paul Fix ... Jim
Eddy Chandler ... Kansas Charlie / Rev. Harry Smith
Carmen Laroux ... Juanita (as Carmen LaRoux)
Lafe McKee ... Poker City Sheriff
Al Ferguson ... Pete
Henry Hall ... Farnsworth (Rodeo Promoter)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Silver Tip Baker ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Frank Ball ... Jake (Banker) (uncredited)
Frank Brownlee ... Sheriff of Rattlesnake Gulch (uncredited)
Tommy Coats ... Deputy Tommy (uncredited)
Dick Dickinson ... Observer at Poker Game (uncredited)
Bert Dillard ... Deputy in Checked Shirt (uncredited)
Frank Ellis ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Jack Evans ... Townsman (uncredited)
Olin Francis ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Herman Hack ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Jack Hendricks ... Townsman (uncredited)
Theodore Lorch ... Robbed Stage Passenger (uncredited)
Lew Meehan ... Posse Rider (uncredited)
Artie Ortego ... Deputy (uncredited)
Tex Palmer ... Deputy (uncredited)
Fred Parker ... Doctor (uncredited)
Archie Ricks ... Stage Driver (uncredited)
Wally West ... Poker Player (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis D. Collins  (as Cullen Lewis)
Writing credits
Lindsley Parsons (story)

Lindsley Parsons (screenplay)

Produced by
Paul Malvern .... producer
Original Music by
Billy Barber (1985) (as William Barber)
Cinematography by
Archie Stout (photography)
Film Editing by
Carl Pierson 
Art Direction by
E.R. Hickson (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Stransky Jr. .... sound recordist (as J.A. Stransky Jr.)
Yakima Canutt .... stunts (archive footage) (uncredited)
Tommy Coats .... stunts (uncredited)
Bert Dillard .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Hendricks .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Jones .... stunts (uncredited)
Wally West .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Billy Barber .... conductor (1985 revisionist video version) (as William Barber)
Jean de la Roche .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
E.R. Hickson .... technical director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
54 min
Black and White | Color (colorized)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Portugal:M/12 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

The rodeo shots are the same as the ones used in The Man from Utah (1934).See more »
Continuity: When Jim introduces Kansas, now posing as Rev. Harry Smith to hid sister Anne she greets him by name and title despite never seeing him before.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 »
Movie Connections:
The Last LapSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
The Original "Alias Smith and Jones", 31 August 2006
Author: aimless-46 from Kentucky

Before I explain the "Alias" comment let me say that "The Desert Trail" is bad even by the standards of westerns staring The Three Stooges. In fact it features Carmen Laroux as semi- bad girl Juanita, when you hear her Mexican accent you will immediately recognize her as Senorita Rita from the classic Stooge short "Saved by the Belle".

In "The Desert Trail" John Wayne gets to play the Moe Howard character and Eddy Chandler gets to play Curly Howard. Like their Stooge counterparts a running gag throughout the 53- minute movie is Moe hitting Curly. Wayne's character, a skirt chasing bully, is not very endearing, but is supposed to be the good guy.

Playing a traveling rodeo cowboy Wayne holds up the rodeo box office at gunpoint and takes the prize money he would have won if the attendance proceeds had been good-the other riders have to settle for 25 cents on the dollar (actually even less after Wayne robs the box office). No explanation is given for Wayne's ripping off the riders and still being considered the hero who gets the girl.

Things get complicated at this point because the villain (Al Ferguson) and his sidekick Larry Fine (played by Paul Fix-who would go on to play Sheriff Micah on television's "The Rifleman") see Wayne rob the box office and then steal the remainder of the money and kill the rodeo manager. Moe and Curly get blamed.

So Moe and Curly move to another town to get away from the law and they change their names to Smith and Jones. Who do they meet first but their old friend Larry, whose sister becomes the 2nd half love interest (Senorita Rita is left behind it the old town and makes no further appearances in the movie).

Larry's sister is nicely played by a radiantly beautiful Mary Kornman (now grown up but in her younger days she was one of the original cast members of Hal Roach's "Our Gang" shorts). Kornman is the main reason to watch the mega-lame western and her scenes with Moe and Curly are much better than any others in the production, as if they used an entirely different crew to film them.

Even for 1935 the action sequences in this thing are extremely weak and the technical film- making is staggeringly bad. The two main chase scenes end with stock footage wide shots of a rider falling from a horse. Both times the editor cuts to a shot of one of the characters rolling on the ground, but there is no horse in the frame, the film stock is completely different, and the character has on different clothes than the stunt rider. There is liberal use of stock footage in other places, none of it even remotely convincing.

One thing to watch for is a scene midway into the movie where Moe and Curly get on their horses and ride away (to screen right) from a cabin as the posse is galloping toward the cabin from the left. The cameraman follows the two stooges with a slow pan right and then does a whip pan to the left to reveal the approaching posse. Outside of home movies I have never seen anything like this, not because it is looks stupid (which it does) but because a competent director would never stage a scene in this manner. They would film the two riders leaving and then reposition the camera and film the posse approaching as a separate action. Or if they were feeling creative they would stage the sequence so the camera shows the riders in the foreground and the posse approaching in the background.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (16 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Desert Trail (1935)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Solid Performance. orionstarman
Background Music fab-1
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Old Corral Hang 'Em High The Broken Land Riding Shotgun Angel and the Badman
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Western section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.