With the stage being held up regularly, the Mesquiteers decide an airplane would be better so they get the ranchers to sell their cattle and invest in the new airline. But when a gold shipment goes out, the stage line owner has his men hijack the plane. The pilot discharges the gas causing a forced landing and the Mesquiteers must now find the missing plane and recover the gold. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
This was 'Louise Brooks'' final film. Contrary to popular rumor, this was not intended to be her "comeback" to Hollywood; she made it because she needed the money. She was paid $300 for the film. Not long after it was released, she was found working as a salesgirl at Saks Fifth Avenue at a salary of $40 a week. Brooks later referred to Wayne as "a purely beautiful being." See more »
[reading a reward poster]
One thousand dollars. I guess we ain't worth much to the Oro Grande Company.
That ain't no decent reward for a self-respecting bandit. What do you say we send Harmon a donation to boost the ante?
Maybe I will - after we polish off the three o'clock stage!
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The story behind the film alone is worth the viewing
_Overland Stage Raiders_ marks the convergence of two great performers, one on her way out of film, the other about to begin the most successful run in film history. Louise Brooks, star of G.W. Papst's erotic masterpiece _Pandora's Box_, makes her last appearance in this run-of-the-mill, twentieth-century entry in the "Three Mesqueeters" series. Though the plot is a preposterous hodgepodge involving the opening of air freight service to an isolated cattle town, Brooks is ever the stunner next to John Wayne, who was still a year away from A-line box office success in _Stagecoach_.
I recommend this film for three reasons:
1. The sheer curiousity value. The greatest western actor opposite the greatest actress in the history of German Expressionism while he was on his way up and she was on her way out. They met in obscurity and went on to immortality.
2. The chance to see the raw potential of John Wayne before his work with John Ford. The presence, the charisma, and the physicality that would make him a colossus are all here. Under a competent directior, these would bloom from reliable entertainment into art.
3. Everyone should see a "Three Mesqueeters" movie. This is probably the best series of the 1930s "poverty row" films, and it is a pure joy to see the workmanlike love put into these programmers. They aren't auteur classics, but for many viewers in the period, they were what movies were all about.
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