5.9/10
97
5 user 1 critic

California Straight Ahead! (1937)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Romance | 16 April 1937 (USA)
Former school bus driver Biff Smith manages a trucking company which has its fleet pitted against a freight train in a race to deliver aviation parts to the Pacific coast.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Herman Boxer (original story), Scott Darling (screenplay) (as W. Scott Darling)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Johnny Hanson wants to make enough money to enlarge his chicken farm. He does this through hockey. Gangsters get involved in trying to get him to throw a championship game, even lining up a woman to help steer him their way.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: John Wayne, Sheila Bromley, Charles Brokaw
Conflict (1936)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Pat's ability as a logging/mining camp fighter sets him up to box prizefighter Corrigan. Unknown to his supporters, he's actually in collusion with Corrigan to throw the fight - until he runs into reporter Maude.

Director: David Howard
Stars: John Wayne, Jean Rogers, Ward Bond
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Newsreel cameraman Bob Adams heads to North Africa to cover an Arab uprising against the British. When he refuses to help his younger brother become a cameraman, Don becomes the dupe of less savory types posing in the trade.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: John Wayne, Gwen Gaze, Don Barclay
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Can Dare Rudd prove he is responsible enough to win the heart of Judy and also outwit the crooked saloon owner?

Director: Charles Barton
Stars: John Wayne, Marsha Hunt, Johnny Mack Brown
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Foreign agents are smuggling monium (a chemical used in producing poison gas) into Mexico. The three Mesquiteers get involved when they ride to save a girl (really a government agent) on a runaway horse.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Pacific pearl diver Duke Slade escapes angry natives by joining a whaler whose dying captain persuades him to marry his daughter who is already being wooed by the first mate.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: John Wayne, Diana Gibson, Montagu Love
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The Mesquiteers capture a horse thief who escapes justice through a crooked judge. They gather signatures urging the governor to investigate but a friend with the petition is murdered. Stony is accused.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Max Terhune
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A gang working for The Shadow is terrorizing the town. John Travers decides to take on the job of sheriff and do something about it.

Director: Robert N. Bradbury
Stars: John Wayne, Verna Hillie, George 'Gabby' Hayes
Sea Spoilers (1936)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When Coast Guard Commander arrives at his actress girlfriend's yacht he find the owner killed, contraband seal skins, and no girlfriend.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: John Wayne, Nan Grey, William Bakewell
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After gold shipments from a mining town have been hijacked, the three Mesquiteers buy a plane to fly the gold out. The owner of the shipping line brings in Eastern gangsters to thwart them.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Louise Brooks, Ray Corrigan
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Jailed for murders he didn't commit, Randy escapes only to stumble into the den of the real murderers.

Director: Harry L. Fraser
Stars: John Wayne, Alberta Vaughn, George 'Gabby' Hayes
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Sent to find counterfeiters, John Wyatt joins Doc Carter's medicine show. They arrive in the town where Curly Joe runs his counterfeiting operation. Carter was once framed by Curly Joe and ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Pierson
Stars: John Wayne, Marion Burns, Reed Howes
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Biff Smith
Louise Latimer ... Mary Porter
Robert McWade ... Corrigan
Theodore von Eltz ... James Gifford
Tully Marshall ... Harrison
Emerson Treacy ... Charlie Porter
Harry Allen Harry Allen ... 'Fish' McCorkle
LeRoy Mason ... Padula
Grace Goodall ... Mrs. Porter
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Huggins
Monte Vandergrift ... Clancy
Lorin Raker Lorin Raker ... Secretary
Edit

Storyline

Former school bus driver Biff Smith manages a trucking company which has its fleet pitted against a freight train in a race to deliver aviation parts to the Pacific coast.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GASOLINE and COURAGE CHALLENGE STEAM AND STEEL! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Californie... en avant! See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Over The Long Haul
31 August 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

California Straight Ahead finds John Wayne as a school bus driver turned truck driver. The film was one of a series of six films that John Wayne made for Universal Pictures that was an attempt to broaden his acting horizons. Not one of these films that he did for Universal was a western.

Though this one does have some western like elements. The final climax has Wayne leading a wagon train like caravan of big rigs trying to beat the railroad to the Pacific Coast before a longshoreman's strike commences is definitely western like in its presentation for the screen.

California Straight Ahead also bears no small resemblance to the working stiff pictures that were more popular at Warner Brothers. Wayne's in a part that Pat O'Brien normally would have played. If the film had been done at MGM, Spencer Tracy would have been cast.

The Duke does not do badly as the happy go lucky Biff Smith who's a lazy fellow with little ambition, content to be a school bus driver. He's got a thing for Louise Latimer, but his lack of ambition distresses her mother, Grace Goodall, to no end. He actually gets himself canned from that job when he helps Latimer's brother, Emerson Treacy, get his cargo to Chicago after villain LeRoy Mason disables Treacy's truck. Wayne and Treacy form a partnership that later includes Harry Allen.

Mason was no stranger to John Wayne films, he appeared in several of Wayne's films as a western villain right up to and including some Three Mesquiteers series. Allen has a nice part, he plays cockney- accented James McCorkle, though there's no explanation as to how he landed from Piccadilly in the American mid-west.

California Straight Ahead, despite some big holes in the plot, is not a bad film for John Wayne. Considering some of the hard driving parts he mostly played, those early scenes in this film were something I had never witnessed from him before, even though he does eventually grow into the usual Duke character. That opening with him driving the school bus and the kids singing almost looks like the setting of a number from a Bing Crosby film.

The film's not great, but it's an interesting part for the Duke.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed