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The Lion's Den (1936)

Merwin hires Barton to fight Welsh, but when Barton arrives in town, Welsh mistakes him for the hired killer Single-Shot Smith. Figuring he can help Merwin by being part of Welsh's gang he ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (original story)

On Disc

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Complete credited cast:
... Tim Barton
... Ann Mervin
... Paddy Callahan
... Nate Welsh (as Frank Glendon)
... Single-Shot Smith
Arthur Millett ... Newt Mervin
... Texas Ranger
... Slim Burtis - Henchman


Merwin hires Barton to fight Welsh, but when Barton arrives in town, Welsh mistakes him for the hired killer Single-Shot Smith. Figuring he can help Merwin by being part of Welsh's gang he hires on as Single-Shot. But soon the real Single-Shot appears. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A 45 Calibre Saga Of Adventure!







Release Date:

8 July 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Single Shot Barton  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film took place in New York City Sunday 12 December 1948 on WATV (Channel 13), in Buffalo Saturday 22 January 1949 on WBEN (Channel 4), and in Los Angeles Wednesday 14 December 1949 on KTSL (Channel 2). See more »

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User Reviews

Is it worth ignoring the horrible print?
18 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

Here I am again--watching a video from Alpha Video. My watching their DVDs is definitely a love-hate relationship! On one hand, they are often the only source for obscure older films. But on the other, the quality of their DVDs is always suspect. They never do any restoration at all on the films and the notions of any sort of captions or special features anyone would want to see are out of the question. They simply produce the most consistently bad DVDs I've ever seen...of movies you may not be able to find elsewhere. Here with "The Lion's Den", I could not find another source so I once again watched it--and once again the print quality was just just awful. It was horribly faded, blurry and scratchy--but at least the sound was pretty good--which is great because once again there are no captions.

The reason why I wanted to watch the film is that I love Tim McCoy films. While they are predictable B-movies, to me they are a heck of a lot better than the films of Gene Autry or Roy Rogers because McCoy NEVER sings and he isn't so pretty. Plus, McCoy was a pretty good actor and trick shooter in real life. Also, if you get a chance, read his IMDb biography--Colonel McCoy was a very interesting man in real life.

"The Lion's Den" starts with McCoy working as a trick shooter on stage (a job McCoy really did by the way). He saves he life of a rancher in the audience (Mr. Merwin) and it turns out that a local baddie (Welsh) is trying to force him off his land--a VERY familiar plot. So, he convinces McCoy to come out to Texas and help defend him against the boss-man and his hired thugs. However, Welsh thinks McCoy is a hired gun he's hired--Single-Shot Smith. And, like in so many of McCoy's films, he decides to go under cover and takes the job with Welsh. Merwin and his daughter naturally think McCoy has reneged on their agreement. However, things are a lot worse when the real Single-Shot arrives and McCoy needs to scramble to save his skin.

As I indicated, many of the plot elements are very familiar in other McCoy westerns--as is the idea of setting the movie in the present day (making it a sort of modern/western hybrid). This isn't necessarily bad--just formulaic. As a result, I see it as watchable but certainly not a must-see. For fans of McCoy like myself, it's worth seeing. For the rest, it's up to you. It's not a bad film at all but not one of the better ones. If you are new to McCoy, why not start start with one of his 'Lightning Bill Carson' films--they are a pretty good lot as is "Aces and Eights". I'll give "The Lion's Den" a 6--while I could have scored it a bit higher, in its current form from Alpha it just isn't super-watchable.

By the way, McCoy's sidekick might just be the dumbest in western history. The scene on the train where he lets the real Single-Shot escape is just baffling. Can anyone be THAT stupid?!

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