Winds of the Wasteland (1936)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Western  |  6 July 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 587 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

The arrival of the telegraph put Pony Express riders like John Blair and his pal Smoky out of work. A race will decide whether they or stageline owner Drake get the government mail contract.



(screen play) (as Joseph Poland) , (original story) (as Joseph Poland)
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Complete credited cast:
John Blair
Phyllis Fraser ...
Lew Kelly ...
Douglas Cosgrove ...
Sam Flint ...
Bob Kortman ...
Henchman Cherokee Joe (as Robert Kortman)
Ed Cassidy ...
Jim - Pony Express Rider (as Charles Locher)
Merrill McCormick ...
Henchman Pete (as W.M. McCormick)
Christian J. Frank ...
Telegraph Crew Chief (as Chris Franke)
Arthur Millett ...
Tracy Layne ...


The Pony Express days are coming to an end, with riders John Blair (John Wayne) and his friend Larry Adams (Lane Chandler), both about 75 pounds too heavy for the original job description, out of a job. They pay Cal Drake (Douglas Cosgrove) of Buchanan City a big price for the Crescent City line and equipment, and arrive there to find it is a ghost mining town and has only two residents: eccentric, self-proclaimed Mayor "Rocky" O'Brien (Lew Kelly) and Dr. William Forsythe (Sam Flint). With the arrival from back east of Barbara Forsythe (Phyllis Fraser), the doctor's daughter and Ginger Rogers lookalike, O'Brien happily changes the blackboard population sign from two to five. John determines to get even and operate the line anyway, after vacating a resident skunk from the stagecoach. On his first run into Buchanan City John learns of a coach race to be staged (fastest team to win a $25,000 government mail contract) and he signs up. A telegraph crew, drinking unknowingly of a poisoned ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WAYNE RIDES AGAIN on the BULLET-STUDDED TRAIL of REVENGE (original print ad) See more »


Comedy | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stagecoach Run  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA 'High Fidelity' Sound System)


(colorized version)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the final stage of the race, the long shots of the Crescent City coach show a driver with a light coloured vest wielding a whip in his right hand. The close shots show John Blair (John Wayne) wearing a dark coloured vest and with both hands holding reins. See more »

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User Reviews

Good Presentation of the "Can-do" Spirit
9 June 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Strong story line that benefits from Lone Star's alliance with Republic Pictures. Poverty row Lone Star usually emphasized action at the expense of story-line. This resulted in lots of exciting chases, but often with little understanding of why. Here, however, the plot is very well developed with believable characters and good action. It's an excellent sketch of how guts, risk, and ingenuity helped transform an abandoned ghost town into a vibrant new community. The screenplay also does a nice job of showing the challenges of rebuilding a frontier town without losing the conventions that entertained kids of the time. Wayne delivers a nicely appropriate turn as the driving force behind the redevelopment, along with Lane Chandler as his buddy. This film especially shows Wayne's charm before the big-money responsibility of super-stardom made him more serious. Final stage race is well conceived along with how reviving the town also restores self-confidence of its inhabitants. Very positive story-line unusual for a B-Western of the time.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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