Wagon trains are not making it to Oregon and Jeff Scott has been sent to investigate. Morgan, the representitive of an eastern syndicate, controls the fur trade and does not want the area ... See full summary »
Wagon trains are not making it to Oregon and Jeff Scott has been sent to investigate. Morgan, the representitive of an eastern syndicate, controls the fur trade and does not want the area settled. So he sends his men lead by Bull Bragg to stop the latest wagon train. Scott is quickly on to Bragg and repeatedly captures him only to have him escape before he can reveal whom is responsible for the attacks. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
The Oregon Trail was the last of four serials that Johnny Mack Brown made for Universal in the 30's before moving exclusively to features. This 15 chapter saga details the trials and tribulations of a wagon trail headed west to the promised land in Oregon.
There are large scale Indian attacks, the cavalry riding to the rescue and the usual hair-raising escapes to entertain the avid serial lover. As in most Universal serials, liberal use is made of stock footage from the silent era.
Once again, Brown is cast as the dressed all in black hero who leads the wagon train. Fuzzy Knight provides support as Brown's sidekick.
Where the casting breaks down is in the portrayals of the chief villains. James Blaine is barely adequate as "Morgan", the chief baddie, but it is Jack C. Smith as "Bull Bragg" who clearly was not up to the role. Of the villains, Charles Stevens as "Breed" stands out. Either Forrest Taylor, Tom London or Charles King, who play small roles as henchmen, could have elevated this picture by playing the "Morgan" and "Bragg" roles.
If the producers could only have seen a few years into the future, they would have seen that they had the future "King of the Bad Guys", Roy Barcroft (cast curiously as General Custer) in their cast. Ah but hindsight is always 20/20.
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