23 user 13 critic

The Lucky Texan (1934)

Jerry Mason, a young Texan, and Jake Benson, an old rancher, become partners and strike it rich with a gold mine. They then find their lives complicated by bad guys and a woman.


Robert N. Bradbury


Robert N. Bradbury (story and screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Jerry Mason
Barbara Sheldon Barbara Sheldon ... Betty Benson
Lloyd Whitlock Lloyd Whitlock ... Harris
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Jake Benson (as George Hayes)
Yakima Canutt ... Joe Cole
Eddie Parker ... Al Miller (as Ed Parker)
Gordon De Main ... Banker Williams (as Gordon Demaine)
Earl Dwire ... Sheriff Miller


When miners Mason and Benson turn in their gold at the assay office, the assay officials trail Benson back to the mine and shoot him. Mason is then arrested for the murder. But the supposedly dead Benson survived and now plans a surprise for the culprits at Mason's trial. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where Life Was Raw and Might Was Law! See more »


Romance | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

22 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gold Strike River See more »

Filming Locations:

Kernville, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In October of 1996 a fire broke out on a late Saturday afternoon in the New York studios of WNBC-TV (Channel 4). A station staffer quickly put a cassette of this film in the tape player on his way out of the building. The film played uninterrupted twice, much to the confusion of viewers. See more »


At the scene of the robbery, the sheriff pronounces the banker dead but later in the film, the suspect is charged with 'attempted murder' and the townsfolk are told that the banker is expected to recover. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Featured in Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Two Stories for the Price of One
8 June 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Looks like our friends at Lone Star put this one together on the fly. It's like they've got two plots going at the same time, and then decide to drop the one with bank robber Al (Eddie Parker) in favor of the other with Jake (Hayes) and his daughter (Sheldon). Nonetheless, there are some entertaining touches. The street fight with Wayne and Parker is especially energetic, two young guys in tip-top shape and well matched. I guess producers decided we Front Row kids had seen enough hard riding, so instead there's that nifty 3-way chase pitting horse against flivver against rail-car. The latter two are faster, but then the horse can go anywhere and we know who's got the horse. And is that Hayes actually duking it out with the bad guy. We only see the back of his head, at a time when the one-and-only Hayes was already pushing 50. Then there's that headlong slide down the sluice chute that looks like an Old West version of an E-ride at Disneyland. And what kid wouldn't have given his proverbial i- teeth to have been along on that one.

One reason I still like these Lone Star oaters is because of the young Wayne. Note how loose and relaxed he is; he's having fun out there in LA's outskirts with all his buddies in the crew and cast. He's just perfect for these matinée specials. But pity poor Barbara Sheldon as Betty. Director Bradbury has his hands full with the guys and the script, so here she is floundering around, doing her best, but looking like a confused puppy. Sadly, it appears she quit the business following this movie's wrap-up. No, this is not top-rank Lone Star, but then it's not every entry where we get to see knobby-knee Hayes in drag and his underwear. So there are compensations.

In passing—note how the assayer in his office quotes Hayes a price of $16 an ounce for gold. That was the price in 1933, and the trouble is it stayed at that price for the next 40 or so years because of gov't fiat. At the same time, the costs of mining gold were rising yearly. So the industry went into eclipse and that's why the metal that had so much to do with opening the West fell off the public's radar screen for so many years following WWII. Ironic.

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