Filled with stock footage from beginning to end of construction scenes on Hoover/Boulder Dam in Nevada, the story centers on the construction of the fictitious Sweetwater Dam being built in... See full summary »



(story "The New Freedom"), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview:
LeRoy Mason ...
Jim Denton - Construction Engineer (as Roy Mason)
Barbara Worth ...
Ann Evans
Fred Kohler ...
Gloria Shea ...
Lilly - Jefferson's Secretary
Jefferson - Crooked Banker
Arthur Hoyt ...
Syd Saylor ...
John Ince ...
Dad' Morgan - Jimmys Father


Filled with stock footage from beginning to end of construction scenes on Hoover/Boulder Dam in Nevada, the story centers on the construction of the fictitious Sweetwater Dam being built in California. Evans Construction Company, run by Arthur Hooyt, has all its money tied up in the work and must finish the dam on time in order to collect. Meanwhile crooked banker Edwin Markham has other plans and sends in a collection of all-star B-feature heavies, including Fred Kohler, Wally Wales, Slim Whitaker and the Dillard brothers, to wreck the dam. The saboteurs dynamite a mountain and cover up John Ince, the father of water-boy Frankie Darro, who vows to avenge his dad's death. Frankie works his way up to a job as a rider in the radio-dispatched horse-mounted patrol organized by Evans'daughter, and, alongside the construction foreman (LeRoy Mason) makes a last-ditch effort to halt the dynamiting of the dam. Written by Les Adams <>

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Action | Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

13 July 1935 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. It's earliest documented telecast occurred Friday 26 July 1946 on WCBW (Channel 2), New York City. See more »

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User Reviews

Thin Plot line Marks One Of The Weaker Frankie Darro Pictures.
24 January 2009 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

This low-budget Great Depression era independent work was produced during transitional periods for a number of its principal players. MEN OF ACTION'S first-billed Frankie Darro is in reality second in story importance to Roy Mason. The latter, who had garnered moderate success as a romantic lead during the late silent film period, was soon to become a prominent Western genre villain (as LeRoy Mason), trading his motorcycle riding roles, as in this piece, for those on horseback. Lead actress Barbara Worth, who took that name for her cinema career (formerly Verna Dooley) after a well-known fictional silent film heroine (THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH -1926), found it to be an untoward choice after the sound period began, with 1935 being the final year of her acting credits, as she then converted to screen writing for a vocation. Second female lead Gloria Shea's disfigurement from an automotive collision that occurred not long after this film's release ended her screen performances. Meanwhile, diminutive Darro, 17 years old at this time and a former popular child actor, remained true to his Awkward Age persona while well into his twenties. Darro plays as Jimmy Morgan who, along with his father (John Ince), is employed by the Evans Construction Company, a firm that is engaged in building a massive dam for the purpose of aiding local high desert fruit growers. Most of the film's scenes were completed at the actual construction site of Boulder Dam along the Arizona/Nevada border, and there is a good deal of footage of the dam's building process, completed in 1935. The narrative shows us that the work crew has been infiltrated by a group of homicidal roustabouts led by one Thorenson (Fred Kohler), all retained by a devious banker, Jefferson (Arthur Hoyt), whose purpose in the tale is to prevent the project's completion, thereby increasing chances of heavy flooding that would destroy orchards and enable Jefferson to purchase the fruit growing land for a very low price. Jefferson's bank is the financial surety for the Evans project, but crew foreman Jim Denton (Mason) has realised the financier's vile plans and manfully attempts to keep the construction on schedule despite trouble caused by the Forces of Evil, in particular a Thorenson-led mass walkout. Jim, in concert with his little friend Johnny, who has remained at his post as water boy even after the death of his father during the film's opening episode as a result of an illicit dynamite charge laid by saboteurs, have along with Ann, the daughter of Evans (Worth), have arranged the advertising for, and hiring of, 1000 "unskilled men" to work at the dam site, as replacements for those employees lost due to the walkout. Those of the workers who remained loyal during the labour trouble are given uniforms and guns, being reassigned as security police to protect the newly hired Evans personnel. Johnny is among the freshly caparisoned guards, and he soon finds himself, along with Jim and his love interest Ann, waging fierce physical combat against Jefferson, Thorenson, and their collection of rounders. Director Alan James, habituated to working with meagre financing, uses single takes, but the seasoned cast is generally able to cover its lines, although there are some notable shortcomings relating to continuity and logic. A goodly amount of stunt work is here, but is largely substandard, especially during the film's frequent fight scenes. Hoyt handily gains acting honours for the film with a supremely unctuous performance as the dastardly Jefferson. Veteran comic actor Syd Saylor is clearly on board for humorous relief but is instead pitifully inept in his attempts at slapstick drollery. Since Boulder Dam upon its completion was the largest concrete structure in the world as well as the location of the globe's greatest hydroelectric energy supply, its footage impersonating the Evans Company project, as enthralling as it is, seems absurd as a means of abetting local fruit farmers with flood control. This rather witless affair has been released, along with another lightweight, but better, Darro starring feature film, ANYTHING FOR A THRILL (1937), by Alpha Home Entertainment, with the two together comprising a bargain for those interested in U.S. cinema of the Depression Era 1930s. As is the case with all Alpha offerings, there has been no effort to remaster the originals, and no extra features are included other than scene indices.

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