Across the Plains
For a good time watching a classic “old west” movie with cowboys, Indians, covered wagons, villains and songs, this is the movie to watch! Starring Jack Randall, the film opens with a family traveling in the hot sun near some mountains, and young brothers Jimmy and Jack are up front in a wagon. Little Jimmy is carving some wood and the boys talk about the plans of their parents, who are riding up ahead in a wagon. They’ve left Kansas for a new homestead. However, some bad guys are nearby, looking for a payroll wagon.
As the dramatic music rises to a fast-paced suspenseful rhythm, one of the wagon drivers snaps the reins hard to get the horses to speed up. One of the villains speeds in with his gun spitting bullets. The boys hide and we see that one of the villains in black wants to burn the wagons. Sadly, little Jack is swiped away by one of the crooks, and little Jimmy finds his mother’s body, dead, on the ground. Soon an Indian tribe, spotting the burning wagons, speed over on their horses and take little Jimmy away. Jack tried to fend off the bad guy with his rifle, and the villain calls him a little rascal, “a real fighter. Well, I like fighters.” That’s when he kidnaps Jack.
The years go by on the screen, from 1851 on to 1871, with various travels, wagons, and a scene of bad guys shooting up the town displayed on the screen. Years later we see the graves of Jimmy and Jack’s family, and Jimmy is seen telling a woman that he never knew his mother, that she was killed. Jimmy is now called “Cherokee” as he was raised by the Cherokee tribe.
And Jack thinks it was the Indians, not the villain in black, that killed his parents. The man in black, Buckskin, has corrupted Jack and he too now rides with the gang. Jack is now known as the “Kansas Kid.”
There is a lot of typical western action, with fights and punches thrown and shootings, with a few characters dying. And it’s neat to see the inclusion of a smart horse in the movie, which unties itself from the hitching post.
When Jack, the “Kansas Kid,” meets Jimmy, “Cherokee,” they do not know they are brothers, but they are on opposing sides of the law. However, without spoiling how it all goes down, the two brothers learn by the end of the film that they are, in fact, brothers. And Lex, Buckskin’s right-hand man, has a change of heart and turns good by the movie’s conclusion.
The movie does a good job in showing that people reap what they sow. Due to some scenes of violence, which aren’t graphic, and several smoking scenes, we are awarding the film our Dove-Approved seal for Ages 12+. The film features the importance of following after good moral principles, and that there is a price to pay for going against the law.
The Dove Take:
This classic Western has plenty of action, horses, songs, and a good moral to boot!