A man framed for murder escapes prison and goes west, where he joins a gang with the real killer involved.
The legendary John Wayne stars in this explosive Western, filled with shoot-outs, men-on-horse chases, and daring tactics as he rescues a team of horses after they are separated from the stagecoach.
Running a bit shy of an hour, this 1933 Western gives us a young John Wayne, full of vigor and youth. In an early scene, he is running from the law, having escaped from prison. He dives into a lake and uses a reed to breathe while the lawmen eye the lake for any sign of life. They see the reed move and shoot at it, but he manages to let the reed go and escape. He’s on the run for a good reason. He was wrongfully accused of a murder and is trying to find the man who is responsible for it.
His character, named John Brant, comes across a man who calls himself Jones. Jones is part of a gang, and he dubs John “Smith” and invites him to join their gang. Brant, on the look-out for the murderer agrees, with the plan to keep in touch with the law via a lady store clerk named Sally.
The chief of the gang makes “Smith” (Brant) the cook for the gang. They plot a stagecoach robbery but to no avail. “Smith” heads off the stagecoach ahead of time, acting as a robber as he jumps on the wagon behind the driver, and grabs the loot to turn it over to the law. When the gang finds out what has happened, and the stagecoach driver explains the stage has already been robbed, the gang, and Jones, becomes suspicious of Smith.
Smith takes a liking to Sally, the store clerk, and Smith notices that Jones likes her too. In fact, he becomes jealous of Smith. Later in the movie Jones lays a plot to find out if Smith is really working with the gang or against them. He tells the chief of the gang that if he comes back with Smith, everything is fine. But if Smith comes back alone…the chief makes it clear it would be the end of Smith.
The story escalates and soon the bad guys are pursuing Smith, and in a nice twist a member of the gang turns good and winds up fighting alongside Smith. So, what happens? Does Smith survive? Does he learn who the murderer is that he went to prison for? And who winds up with Sally-Smith-or does Jones? Or neither? You will have to watch to find out. This is an enjoyable western to watch, with an interesting plot, fine acting, and a lot of rousing action. There are a few minor content issues, including a couple of brief smoking scenes, and a man is seen with just a bit of blood on his mouth after he’s punched. Also, notably, there is a drawing of a topless woman in the background of a scene. It is in the background but does appear for a few seconds. The positive thing is that the movie shows a man fighting for the law and cooperating with them, and one man who joins the side of right and justice after he’s been an outlaw. We are awarding the Dove seal for All Ages to the film. Parents should consult our content listing to make their own informed decisions.
The Dove Take
This is one of the best westerns we’ve seen in a while and its moral lessons along with John Wayne make it a memorable movie to watch.