Haunted Gold is not a bad western for John Wayne from the series he made at Warner Brothers in 1932-1933. He's the owner of a ranch who's investigating some strange goings on at a mine where his father was once the part owner. The daughter of his dad's partner, Sheila Terry, received a letter about the mine and she's on the scene as well.
There's a mysterious 'phantom' at work and Haunted Gold is starting to bare a resemblance to Abbott and Costello's Hold That Ghost. Never mind that it's a remake of an old Ken Maynard silent western.
The comedy here comes from Blue Washington who plays Clarence Washington Brown, cook at Wayne's ranch and self-appointed bodyguard to his person. Sad to say that Blue Washington conforms generally to prevalent black stereotypes of the period. But actually if you take away the racial component, Washington really does act a whole lot like Lou Costello.
As in all of Wayne's Warner Brothers films of the time, the Duke is aided and abetted by Duke the Wonder Horse. Most exciting scene is a fight with John Wayne and one of Harry Woods's gang of bad guys in a cable car above the mine. Duke the Horse comes to Wayne's rescue twice during that scene, actually quite exciting.
It's too bad the racial stereotyping was there, but wouldn't a film with John Wayne with Lou Costello as a sidekick been real interesting? The mind boggles.
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