John Clark (Bob Steele) and his deaf pal, Bootch Collum (Buck Connors), are trailed by U. S. Marshal Lamar Bly (Jack Rockwell), who thinks they are part of The Kootney Kid's (Earl Dwire) gang, which had just held up the stage coach. But the gang attacks the pair, and Bly joins them in the gunfight. Bly is wounded and is taken to a Mexican's camp to recover. He gives John his badge and authorizes him to take up the hunt. The Kid, unknown to John by sight, is on a ranch which he hopes to gain legal possession of as it has oil. It is really John's by right, which he does not know until informed by his sweetheart, Joan Vallon (Roberta Gale.) The Kid has taken a letter from the stage holdup which he is using to establish his identity as the rightful owner named Everett Tarkington Clark, John's real name. John is in the courtroom when the Kid makes his claim, but his protest is overruled and he is arrested on suspicion of having killed Marshal Bly. He and Bootch escape and ride to intercept the Kid who is on his way to eliminate Bly, the only person that can verify John's claim...
Bob Steele ... Everett Tarkington 'John' Clark
Roberta Gale ... JoAnne Vallon
Buck Connors ... Bootch Collum (as Buck Conners)
Earl Dwire ... The Kootney Kid, posing as Everett Trakington Clark
Robert McKenzie ... Judge (as Bob McKenzie)
Steve Clark ... Henchman Simi
Jack Rockwell ... Marshal Lamar Blyth
Roger Williams ... Sheriff
Jack Cowell ... Attorney Wagner
This has to be one of the more amusing and highly entertaining westerns that I have seen in some time.
The plot is simple enough. A villain (The Kootney Kid...hahaha) is a mail-robber who finds a letter relative to identification of the rightful heir - Everett Tarkington Clark (who is Bob Steele, known by friends as John) of his mother's property. The Kootney Kid wants it because of a potential oil deal so he sets about to convince the law that he's really Everett and that Everett (Steele) is HIM.
I guess that it's a good thing that there are driver's licenses and other forms of identification these days, including actual records, which really helps, hahaha. I'm almost sure that there were records and REAL identification methods in the era this movie was set in, but it certainly doesn't seem that way watching it.
The judge is a laugh riot, almost as amusing as Buck Conners as Bootch Collum (Bootch? Kootney Kid? Fun names in this movie as well).
Almost the entire second half of this movie is filled with tongue-twisters, or at least the actors speak their lines as if they were tongue-twisters. You'd have to hear all the actors speak their lines to believe they ever even got through this at all.
Actually, there does seem to be one scene involving the judge where an off-camera voice seems to be holding back a loud burst of laughs and it literally sounds like they are hurting themselves trying to hold back the outburst. It seems that way, but still, there's no edit at the point that I could detect.
Very entertaining and easily worth several views.
I should strongly point out (perhaps even warn) - and it seems a bit strange - that Bob Steele in this looks EXACTLY like a silent film star ready to lick the rest of a pie from his face at a sped-up pace. I don't know why, but that's all I could think of during the courtroom scenes. It does subtract just a little from the western atmosphere, but perhaps it couldn't be helped. Perhaps it was just a combination of the expressions, haircut, and makeup(?)
Earl Dwire (The Kootney Kid, hehe) is also quite entertaining, and even very convincing in his villainous sincerity throughout, unlike the more cardboard characters in similar movies.
I also feel that all of the actors involved in this really are enjoying their roles and trying their best, unlike many other movies.
Somewhat amusing Bob Steele vehicle here. First off, Bob Steele WAS one of the more handsomer cowboy actors out there, and I actually look forward to his movies. Here he plays a cowboy off to see his Mom after many a year separation. Unfortunately, when he gets into town, he finds out that dear old Mom has passed on, and that someone is trying to hustle his Mom's land to his own uses. With the help of a deaf Sidekick (!!) Steele tries to prove his case in front of a land claims court (wow, exciting.. I'm sure the judge knew this too, since he's bellowing his lines to make it more interesting). The land claims court disagrees, and tries to arrest the two for impersonating a sheriff (don't ask). So Steele has to Take The Law Into His Own Hands! Entertaining for the fact that Steele makes it entertaining, I did like the amusing performance of Buck Conners as his sidekick as well.