IMDb > Born to the West (1937)
Born to the West
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Born to the West (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
5.8/10   539 votes »
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Up 25% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stuart Anthony (screenplay) and
Robert Yost (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Born to the West on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 December 1937 (USA) See more »
CRIMSON-STREAKED ROMANCE HITS THE TRAIL! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Can Dare Rudd prove he is responsible enough to win the heart of Judy and also outwit the crooked saloon owner? Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(4 articles)
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User Reviews:
this is finally the Duke See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Dare Rudd

Marsha Hunt ... Judy Worstall

Johnny Mack Brown ... Tom Fillmore (as John Mack Brown)
John Patterson ... Lynn Hardy
Monte Blue ... Bart Hammond
Lucien Littlefield ... Cattle Buyer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Boyle ... Sam (uncredited)
James Craig ... Brady (uncredited)
Jack Daley ... Card Player (uncredited)
Earl Dwire ... Cowhand (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Bartender #1 (uncredited)
Jack Kennedy ... Sheriff Pete Starr (uncredited)
Nick Lukats ... Jim Fallon (uncredited)
Art Mix ... Trail Hand (uncredited)
Vester Pegg ... Bartender #2 (uncredited)
Lee Prather ... Lightning Rod Salesman (uncredited)
Syd Saylor ... Dinkey Hooley (uncredited)
Jim Thorpe ... Barfly (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Barton 
Writing credits
Stuart Anthony (screenplay) and
Robert Yost (screenplay)

Zane Grey (novel)

Jack Natteford  additional dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
William T. Lackey .... producer
William LeBaron .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Devereaux Jennings (photographed by) (as Dev Jennings)
Film Editing by
John F. Link Sr.  (as John Link)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
Robert Odell 
Set Decoration by
A.E. Freudeman 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal Walker .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles Hisserich .... sound recordist
Walter Oberst .... sound recordist
Music Department
Boris Morros .... musical director
George Antheil .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Gerard Carbonara .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
John Leipold .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ralph Rainger .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Victor Young .... composer: stock music (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hell Town" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
59 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-8 | USA:Approved | USA:Approved (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Due to a studio clerical error, Alan Ladd was credited for an appearance in this film. He does not, in fact, appear in it.See more »
Continuity: Hammond raises his knife and fork twice between shots.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) (TV)See more »
Bury Me Not on the Lone PrairieSee more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
this is finally the Duke, 10 June 2007
Author: (winner55) from United States

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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