Tenderfoot Trask gets rodeo champ Travis to take his place as the new owner of a ranch having trouble with rustlers. To stop the rustling Travis and his men build a drift fence. Out to stop them is Clay Jackson and his men led by Slinger Dunn. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The 20 Zane Grey stories sold by Paramount to Favorite Films for theatrical re-release, and then to Unity Television Corporation for television broadcast are as follows: The Light of Western Stars/Winning the West (1930), Fighting Caravans/Blazing Arrows (1931), Heritage of the Desert/When the West Was Young (1932), The Mysterious Rider/The Fighting Phantom (1933), The Thundering Herd/Buffalo Stampede (1933), Man of the Forest/Challenge of the Frontier (1933), To the Last Man/Law of Vengeance (1933), Wagon Wheels/Caravans West (1934), Rocky Mountain Mystery/The Fighting Westerner (1935), Drift Fence/Texas Desperadoes (1936), Desert Gold/Desert Storm (1936), The Arizona Raiders/Bad Men of Arizona (1936), Arizona Mahoney/Arizona Thunderbolt (1936), Forlorn River/River of Destiny (1937), Thunder Trail/Thunder Pass (1937), Born to the West/Hell Town (1937), The Mysterious Rider/Mark of the Avenger (1938), Heritage of the Desert/Heritage of the Plains (1939), Knights of the Range/Bad Men of Nevada (1940), and The Light of Western Stars/Border Renegade (1940). See more »
In this nifty Western, action opens with exciting moments at a rodeo where Jim Traft (comedian Benny Baker) is an onlooker and it is revealed that Traft is to be willed a ranch in Arizona, although he is obviously better suited for city surroundings. At the rodeo Traft is able to make an acquaintance of a wrangler whose name is similar to his, Jim Travis (Tom Keene), who he persuades to swap places with him at the ranch since a codicil in Traft's uncle's will stipulates that his nephew must learn the cattle business. When Travis arrives at the Traft ranch, he quickly impresses the crew there that he is the genuine article, and leads his hands in the construction of a drift fence, to contain his cattle and to keep rustlers and other interlopers off his spread. Successful construction of the fence is endangered by a band of rustlers headed by Clay Jackson (Stanley Andrews) who utilizes the fast draw of local rancher Slinger Dunn (Buster Crabbe) as his primary weapon. Jackson is applying pressure upon Slinger's sister Molly (Katherine DeMille) to wed him, and the grandmother of the siblings (Effie Elssler), matriarchal doyen of the Dunn ranch, approves of Jackson, which complicates matters since Travis (a Texas Ranger in disguise) is familiar with the rustler kingpin's felonious past. Based upon the novel of the same name by Zane Grey, which appeared in serial form two years prior, DRIFT FENCE benefits from the direction of Otho Lovering, a sterling film editor who utilizes fades to perfection, and the viewer feels no need for filler, as the work snaps along to an exciting conclusion. Paramount supplies an enjoyable cast and, in addition to those mentioned, Irving Bacon, Leif Erickson and craggy-faced Walter Long give solid performances. In only 55 minutes of film, this production yields an interesting story and dialogue, augmented by good acting, with comedy, romance and gunplay in the mix.
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