5.8/10
615
21 user 5 critic

Born to the West (1937)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 10 December 1937 (USA)
Can Dare Rudd prove he is responsible enough to win the heart of Judy and also outwit the crooked saloon owner?

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Judy Worstall
...
Tom Fillmore (as John Mack Brown)
John Patterson ...
Lynn Hardy
...
Bart Hammond
...
Cattle Buyer
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Storyline

Dare Rudd and Dinkey Hooley, roaming cowhands, drift into Montana, where they meet Dare's cousin, Tom Fillmore, cattleman and banker. Tom offers them jobs but they pass, until Dare sees Tom's sweetheart, Judy Worstall and decides to take the job. He is put in charge of a cattle drive, replacing ranch-foreman Lynn Hardy, who is in cahoots with Bart Hammond, rustler. Dare delivers the cattle to the railhead and is about to return when he is persuaded into a poker game by Buck Brady, a crooked gambler. Dare is almost cleaned out when Tom appears and takes a hand and discovers the dealer is switching decks. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CRIMSON-STREAKED ROMANCE HITS THE TRAIL! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hell Town  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening theme music can also be heard in the Harold Lloyd picture The Milky Way (1936). See more »

Goofs

Hammond raises his knife and fork twice between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dinkey Hooley: Where's this cousin of yours at?
Dare Rudd: Wyoming
Dinkey Hooley: Where do your figure Wyoming's at?
Dare Rudd: Right over yonder beyond that hill... unless somebody's moved it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Foul Play (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
this is finally the Duke
10 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am giving this film ten stars, not because it is a great film (although it is one of the best of its type), but because it is a remarkably important transitional film for one of the real originals of American cinema, John Wayne.

This is one of the last of the many 'Saturday matinée' potboilers Wayne acted in for a half-dozen marginal studios during the 1930s; two years later, Ford would give him the big break of his career in "Stagecoach".

Unlike the other potboilers he appeared in, "Hell Town" (aka "Born to the West", although I have never seen a print with that title on it) is well-written, well-directed, nicely photographed, and well-acted by all involved (but especially Johnny 'Mack' Brown) - surprising quality for a cheapie, but I suppose the fact the story it derived from had been written by Zane Grey - already a legendary Western writer - probably impressed cast and crew to make a best-effort presentation here. At any rate, the film, under 55 minutes long, has the look and feel of a feature-length Western of the time, and it survives far better than any other of the Western shorts of the period.

The story is solid, with relatively serious overtones concerning the possibility of redemption. Wayne's character, a gambling addict, is rightly transformed when he discovers that his cousin is a better gambler than he is, but just prefers not to gamble.

Wayne himself is in top-form for the period. All the little gimmicks and gestures we associate with him are here in a way never seen in any film of his before this - his cautious smile, his frown, his ability to strike a pose leaning his weight on one leg, his soft but firm voice of warning, his ability to face a tough situation with grace and even, one must admit, an oddly noble humility. This is no longer the "Singing Mesquiteer" of the earlier potboilders, this is finally the Duke, who would star in "Stagecoach" and lead an army of fans (including myself) through film after film for four more decades.

This is where the filmography of John 'Duke' Wayne rightfully begins - a film that has survived well, and may yet survive a few decades more.

(Note: in another film made the previous year, Winds of the Wasteland, Wayne can also be seen coming into his own as an actor; but this is the better film.)


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