Riders of Destiny
Bad guy Kincaid controls the local water supply and plans to do in the other ranchers. Government agent Saunders shows up undercover to do in Kincaid and win the heart of one of his victims Fay Denton.
A very young John Wayne stars in this vintage Western movie which goes beyond a lot of “shoot-‘em-up” Westerns and features an interesting plot which has to be followed fairly closely so the viewer doesn’t lose track of what’s going on.
It opens with Wayne riding a white horse while strumming a guitar and singing (his voice was actually dubbed). Soon he comes across a wounded Sheriff Bill Baxter, who has been shot. Wayne’s character, Singin’ Sandy Saunders, helps the sheriff but then he’s soon in the middle of another adventure when he comes across a shooting which involves a woman. The woman, Fay Denton (Cecilia Parker), is all right but her horse has been shot and killed. He has her ride away on his white horse and heads for cover as the two men who shot at her take a shot at Sandy.
Fay has the money that was stolen from the stagecoach and at first it appears she might be involved in a robbery. But when she arrives home and talks with her dad, Charlie (George “Gabby” Hayes), it seems there is more going on than meets the eye. In fact, a local businessman named James Kincaid (Forrest Taylor) is trying to buy up the local ranches and he’s threatening the ranchers by stating he’ll hold back water privileges from his place if they don’t sell to him.
Sandy and Fay begin to form a friendship and it becomes clear that they have eyes for one another. And when it’s learned by the local men that a representative from Washington is being dispatched to help them, they just hope they can hold off Kincaid until the agent arrives. Kincaid hires a fast draw to stand up to Sandy, who is defending the local men, but Sandy proves to be faster, yet showing mercy by shooting the man’s hands rather than killing him. He makes it certain the gunman will not kill anyone ever again.
In a light-hearted moment in the film Sandy apprehends the two that shot at him earlier, and he has them hug tight before he wraps a rope around them. It’s definitely a comedic moment in the movie. Sandy also warns Kincaid in a note to draw off and to leave the people alone. Sandy winds up pulling a trick on Kincaid that Kincaid doesn’t see coming. We won’t spoil it, but we all know that John Wayne is not going to lose a fight in a Western movie!
The movie is quite entertaining, featuring Sandy singing and playing his guitar for Fay. With a bit of romance thrown into this Western adventure, the movie is well rounded and contains some good writing. Not everything is what it appears to be at first.
The film is pretty wholesome compared to a lot of Westerns in modern times, and it has procured our Dove seal for All Ages, although it’s not intended for young kids.
The Dove Take
This wonderful film contains singing, horses, adventure, romance and a cause worth fighting for, and it’s an entertaining way to spend just under an hour.