Thursday, June 06, 2013


The El Dorado Mining Company has had gold shipments stolen off the Oro Grande bus line. Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin, buddies known as The Three Mesquiteers, talk the boss of the mine into using an airplane service to ship their gold. Stony approaches Ned Hoyt and his sister Beth, who run a small air service, about expanding, and talks the local cattlemen into selling their cattle and investing in the plane company. Ned has a mysterious past—we discover he served time for something, but got his pilot's license back—but he's a hard worker, and Stony is a little sweet on Beth, so when executives from the bus line plot to ruin the Hoyt's business, Stony and the Mesquiteers come to the rescue. This is an average B-western of the era which is of general interest for two reasons: 1) John Wayne is Stony, a role in played in a handful of Three Mesquiteers movies before the success of STAGECOACH sent his career upwards; 2) renowned silent film actress Louise Brooks (PANDORA’S BOX, pictured at right with Wayne) appears here as Beth, in her last screen credit. Fans of Brooks may feel like they need to see this, but she basically sleepwalks through the role with little energy and no enthusiasm, coming off as no better or worse than any nameless B-actress who might have played a similar role in any other B-western. Ray Corrigan (Tucson) and Max Terhune (Lullaby) are also fairly colorless, though Terhune has a couple of silly bits with a puppet named Elmer. Slightly better are Anthony Marsh as Ned and Gordon Hart as the evil bus company owner. An average B-western, though the DVD from Olive Films presents it in great shape, probably better than it looked on its initial release. I've previously reviewed a non-John Wayne Mesquiteers film, VALLEY OF HUNTED MEN. [DVD]

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