|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||15 reviews in total|
That's the whole point, there ain't no road to Rainbow Valley and the
outlaws want to make sure that it stays that way. By controlling the
narrow pass into the valley they can starve the miners out collect on
the potential riches they've found. Of course all this is reckoned
without the presence of John Wayne.
As was pointed out by another reviewer this takes place during the first decade of the last century as typified by both the picture of the current president on the post office wall, Theodore Roosevelt. And by the fact that mailman Gabby Hayes delivers the mail in one of those new fangled contraptions and automobile with a crank starter.
The car proves to be a double whammy for both the outlaws and the good guys. Since it's the only car in the valley when Gabby Hayes is captured by the outlaws it makes it real easy for the Duke to follow as he laughingly points out. Of course when Gabby tries to rescue Wayne during the climax, he doesn't reckon on another problem for early automobiles, they run out of gas and there ain't no filling stations built yet. I have to confess a chuckle or two as Gabby and Lucille Browne hitch up some harness horses to his Model T and have to go out that way to the final gun battle.
Rainbow Valley is not a bad western for a Lone Star Monogram production. At a bigger studio with a better script and better production values this could have been a classic.
And with John Wayne and Gabby Hayes, what else could it be? For the time, and given that this IS one of those B movies churned out constantly by the various production companies, this thing is a hoot. Its fun for fans of the Duke, seeing him in such an early role. It has its elements of excitement and plot twists. It has its style of humor, fitting for the day. Its honestly well put together for the time. None of the other players are bad actors, and several are very good. The villains, Buffalo Bill Jr. ( aka Butch Galt ) and LeRoy Mason in particular, were both very fine actors and come across quite well in their roles. The plot? Its not complicated, but it makes for a good story. Fight scenes? Several. Just keep in mind that choreography was not then what it is now. When I watch something like this I try to put myself in the time during which the flick was made. That seems to put it into perspective and helps make it a lot more entertaining. If you can wrap your head around the era, recognize that churning out B movies doesn't necessarily mean poor quality as a standard, and be thankful that Wayne doesn't sing in this one ... Rainbow Valley? Well, pilgrim, it ain't a big valley, but it is a fun one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Rainbow Valley" was made right after "Texas Terror", and
interestingly, a number of the principals stuck around to appear in
both. The main heavy goes by Rogers, and is portrayed by LeRoy Mason,
while John Wayne's romantic interest is a demure Miss Eleanor (Lucille
Brown). Each had similar roles in "Texas Terror", along with George
(Pre-Gabby) Hayes, but this time around, his character sports around in
an automobile. John Martin (Wayne) expresses some surprise, remarking
that it's the first one he's ever seen. However shortly later when
George is injured in a chase while driving, Martin knows just what to
do to bring it to a stop! I got a kick out of George's name for the car
- 'Nugget Nell'. Some years later in the early Fifties, Pat Brady would
tool around in 'Nellybelle' on "The Roy Rogers Show", maybe they were
The plot is a familiar one involving villain Rogers in a land fraud scheme, but instead of water rights or phony deeds, the bad guys prevent the town folk from completing a road connecting Rainbow with an adjoining town. Preventing the arrival of supplies and necessities, Rogers hopes the local ranchers will sell out to him cheap. Special Agent Martin's presence on the scene was arranged by the governor so he could investigate, sounding a bit more involved than it had to be. Martin spent some time in jail with Rogers' top henchman Galt (Jay Wilsey as Buffalo Bill, Jr.), causing Miss Eleanor and others some concern since he might be throwing in with Rogers. Not to worry though, it's all part of the plan to complete the road and take down the baddies.
I found a few interesting things about this Lone Star Western, it's the only one I can recall off hand in which John Wayne actually twirls a six gun. For his part, George Hayes seems pretty accomplished in throwing sticks of dynamite to fend off the bad guys. It seemed to me that was Teddy Roosevelt's picture hanging in the post office; his presidency ran from 1901 to 1909, so that would have worked for the picture chronologically, along with the presence of Nugget Nell.
Having seen nearly all of Wayne's Lone Stars, this might be the one film that shows the most print degradation, with washed out scenes and a fair amount of visual static. Still, I felt lucky finding this title along with eight other John Wayne flicks from the mid to late 1930's, none of which duplicated the much easier to find public domain films like "Blue Steel" and "The Star Packer". In my case, I found it as part of a promotional display at a local Walmart; the package of nine films on two DVD's is put out by Echo Bridge Entertainment. Believe it or not, included is the complete twelve chapter serial, "Shadow Of The Eagle"!
This has a cast of over forty, which makes it twice as big as the usual
Gabby Hayes carries much of the movie with his usual gruff-old-goat character. Unfortunatey, he's only in the first fifteen and last ten minutes of the film.
John Wayne plays a "Special Agent" John Martin who builds a road to the outlaw forsaken town of Rainbow Valley. He basically sleepwalks through the part.
As other reviewers noted, it is a bit irritating that the female characters are always dressed in 1930's fashion.
This seems to be about average for a Lonestar production. It is not one of my favorites.
in my mind this is a fluffy,light movie,but very entertaining and fun to watch.Basically,John Wayne is stranger in town who agrees to help the men get a new road built.the workers have been continually threatened and harassed or worse,by a gang of outlaws who don't want the road built.there is no law to speak of in the town,so the gang has pretty much done whatever they please.until now,that is.this is a pretty standard western movie,which follows the general formula of westerns at that time.however,i think it it is well acted,exciting and fast paced.it's a pretty short movie(less than 90 minutes)but there'a lot jammed into the short running time.if you're in the mood to simply be entertained,you might like this movie.it's not an epic,like many of John Wayne's movies,but so what.i think "rainbow Valley" is a strong 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Filmed in 1935 this movie stars John Wayne as a cowboy named "John Martin" who is on his way to the small, isolated town of "Rainbow Valley". While riding his horse he happens to come across an old man by the name of "George Hale" (George Hayes) who tells him he needs water desperately for "Nellie". Figuring that he needs it for his horse, John gives him his canteen only to discover that "Nellie" is an automobile and George is the mailman for Rainbow Valley. Having added the water to his car's radiator George thanks John and tells him he will probably see him again in Rainbow Valley. Since both are headed that way John decides to follow George from a distance. It's at this time that he hears gunshots and notices that some outlaws on horseback are chasing after George. Naturally, John rides to the rescue and after taking on the crooks one by one escorts the now-wounded George to the doctor in Rainbow Valley. Once he gets to town he is informed that Rainbow Valley has been plagued by crooks and that the residents are in desperate need of someone who can fend off the outlaws trying to stop the workers from restoring the only road connecting Rainbow Valley with the nearest town 60 miles away. At any rate, rather than detailing the entire story I will just say that this was a decent Western B-movie all things considered. Besides being quite old it is also a bit short (about 52 minutes). But the acting was adequate enough and the movie turned out to be somewhat entertaining all the same. That said, I suppose it merits an average rating.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is yet another B-western from John Wayne--who made a ton of these
sort of films during the 1920s. What makes this one a bit different is
the running time. At 52 minutes, this makes this one of his
shortest--and oddly, the version I downloaded from the IMDb link was
only 47--way too short even for a B-movie (which usually run from 55-65
minutes in length). I assume that some portion of the movie I saw was
John Wayne does what he always does in these films--he wanders into a new town and soon lands right in the middle of some evil gang activity. And, like most of these films, he teams up with good 'ol Gabby Hayes along the way. And, like many of his and Gene Autry's films, the time period in which this film is set is very ambiguous. While most ride around on horses, Hayes rides a Model T Ford and his daughter wears dresses circa 1930! Though anachronistic, this is not too unusual.
Wayne ALWAYS plays a good guy and this time he's an undercover investigator sent by the governor. He's to figure out why there has been such a long delay in getting the road built to Rainbow Valley. Apparently, there is a gang involved and it's up to our hero to infiltrate the gang, get the road completed AND get the girl--all within 47 compact minutes.
I'd give this one a 4, as it's not quite as good as Wayne's other films--mostly because it lacks plot development due to its odd run-time. Pleasant but certainly one of his lesser Bs.
John Wayne rallies George "Gabby" Hayes and the other residents of
Rainbow Valley against a gang of bandits who patrol the myriad roads
out of town, stealing the fruits of the local gold mines and are now
sabotaging the construction of a new main road.
Even though there isn't as much action in this as there is in other Wayne Lone Star productions, it's still a pleasant enough diversion with at least one great action sequence where Wayne and a dozen or so men with rifles route the bad guys, while Gabby chases them off in his horseless carriage, throwing sticks of nitro as they flee!
This time around, Wayne's stunt double and B-western nemesis, Yakima Canutt, is nowhere to be found. He must've went on vacation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . on which the first automobile arrives, which turns out to be Gabby Hayes in a Stanley Steamer (a steam-powered car, NOT a carpet cleaner's orange van). The outlaws, of course, keep their horses. (As Charlton Heston once said, "When horses are outlawed, only outlaws will have horses.") But every single Honest Citizen in RAINBOW VALLEY sells their horses (except for Gabby Hayes, who keeps his around for when his auto runs out of steam; at the rate Toyotas seem to be breaking down nowadays, they ought to have horse hitching posts up front, too). This American Trait of Fickle Consumerism which causes the RAINBOW VALLEY town folk to betray their trusty steeds backfires, of course. When the Bad Guys set out to blow up the new road being built for Regular Cars such as Packards and DeSotos, the 50-geezer town Vigilante Committee is forced to trot five miles ON FOOT (lugging their rifles and shotguns), since they're totally Horseless, and their cars cannot be brought in yet. They're too winded to shoot straight when they finally reach the outlaw horde, so John Wayne is forced to set an example for Today's Dallas Police Chief by simply blowing them up with explosives.
Business as usual at Lone Star Studios 1935: A solid John Wayne anchors
a leaden production about foiling bad guys out west.
Wayne is John Martin, who shows up one day at an isolated town named Rainbow offering to help with their road problem. Since the existing road was washed away by a cloudburst, the town has been at the mercy of a gang of desperadoes, one of whom, Rogers (LeRoy Mason), plays the part of an upstanding citizen. Martin organizes the town to build a new road. As time passes, people wonder whether Martin's on the level.
This is a pretty novel idea for a western, road engineering as a plot point. But the slipshod manner of the story's development creates more potholes than the finest engineer could work around.
The story opens with Martin in a store, buying guns and a horse. The sequence establishes that there's a town named Rainbow that lost its road, but serves no other purpose, especially as this exposition is basically repeated shortly after when Martin meets a mail courier named George (George Hayes), who pretty much says the same thing. If you know the work of director Robert N. Bradbury on these Lone Star westerns, you won't be surprised by the padding.
There's also a protracted, silly subplot about a bad guy named Butch who's been sent away to prison but is magically freed when Rogers somehow gets the townspeople's signatures on a petition for clemency. Why we need Butch in this production is never explained, nor is the reason for Martin having a suspicious prior relationship with the felon. Since it doesn't figure in the story, it's just more padding.
But "Rainbow Valley" does stick out in a better way. In addition to the road idea, Wayne is in very good form here, natural and enjoyably reactive in his work with the other actors. Just as good in his own more colorful way is Hayes, not yet known as "Gabby" here but in that zone. He and Wayne play well off each other here, establishing a baseline of charm that assuages the weakness of the storyline.
There's a fun bit where Martin is trying to talk up a pretty mail clerk who, suckered in by Rogers, has no time for him. As she cuts Martin off and walks away, George looks on, impressed: "She's fallen for you already."
If you like Wayne and Gabby Hayes, you will like this movie at least a bit. But even they aren't enough to make me think it's good.
The supporting performances are better than usual, with Mason making a mark despite a one-note role. There's clever use of an automobile (Lone Star westerns usually seem to be set in the beginning of the 20th century, though it's never stated clearly) which George carries mail in, a springy jalopy called "Nugget Nell." Dynamite explosion stunts add some excitement. And no horses seem to have been killed in the making of this film, which is good to see.
But the negatives pop up too frequently. It's true these were short films, made as casual entertainments to run under an hour as part of a larger movie-house program, but "Rainbow Valley" is too casual that way, suffering from a typical lack of continuity and characters turning on a dime.
At least Wayne is good, as said, and in a way that helps you see why he became such an overnight sensation just four years later. He's got the charm, the toughness, and the presence that keeps you watching even when the rest of "Rainbow Valley" lets you down. He's just playing an engineer here, but he builds a decent bridge to the future all the same.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|