This old Western (1937) will still please Western and action lovers and it features a famous actor-Lon Chaney. Jr-as the bad guy, Henchman Girard. Tom Tyler plays Tom Wade, also known as “Cheyenne”. Cheyenne’s sidekick is a short fellow who loves to sing, named Dopey Andrews (portrayed by Jimmie Fox). And Lucile Browne plays Cheyenne’s love interest, Sally Lane.
One of the assets of this film is its scenery. Filmed largely in the outdoors, large rocks and rolling hills along with rows of trees make for nice background settings in the movie. The movie opens with dramatic and suspenseful music as a chase is on between men on horses. A horse is captured and Dopey uses coloring to cover up its original cover. One of the villains of the movie, Girard (Chaney Jr.), comes along and soon discovers the trick. In what would be considered a real no-no in today’s films, Girard lights up a cigarette and smokes it while in the barn! A robbery has taken place and Girard is trying to learn what happened to the money. He doesn’t know-yet-that Cheyenne has it, with plans to keep it safe until it is returned to the rightful owners. He’s actually a cattle detective.
In a suspenseful scene, Girard and his gang show up to the ranch where Cheyenne has hidden the money, behind a large stone in the fireplace. Girard holds a gun on Cheyenne and tells him he’s got just 10 seconds to get the money or he will be shot. He pretends he is going to get it for them but then boldly fights them off. Girard shoots at Cheyenne as Cheyenne manages to leap through a window. He and Dopey mount their horses and they escape. Girard’s gang pursues Cheyenne for a time and then they backtrack to the ranch to try to find the hidden money themselves.
A man named Gleason is in on the stolen money incident and is in cahoots with the gang. Cheyenne, while in the local saloon, receives a message from Sally, his love interest. She warns him that there are certain people suspicious of him. Meanwhile, the ranch Sally is staying at belongs to a no-good villain named Rollins (Ted Lorch), who makes a pass toward Sally, even though he has a woman who loves him, named Pamela. Sally refuses his advances. But she’s told if she attempts to leave she’ll be shot.
Cheyenne secretly arrives and makes his way to Sally, but he’s discovered and, when Girard shows up, who has discovered who Cheyenne is, the fight is on. Girard throws a gun at the escaping Cheyenne’s head, knocking him out. He is tied up and left on an upstairs bed. But his reliable friend, Dopey, shows up to free him.
We won’t spoil the ending but there are some remaining exciting scenes including Cheyenne climbing a tree, only to drop down on a man riding swiftly by on his horse. Cheyenne captures the horse. It looks like a showdown between Cheyenne and the bad guys might be the end for Cheyenne unless some help quickly shows up.
The film is somewhat tame compared to contemporary films, yet there is the forced advance of attention from the male character on the female character, not to mention several smoking and drinking scenes. So, the film has earned our Ages 12+ Dove seal.
The Dove Take
For Western and action lovers, this is a movie you will enjoy!