Wally returns from prison having been framed by outlaw Bowers and Banker Brown. When Wally and Bowers fight, Wally is jailed. Getting the Sheriff and posse out of town, Bowers robs Brown's ... See full summary »
Richard Thorpe directed this B western near the beginning of his long career. Like many another director, he got his start in the industry in westerns because they were popular and cheap to make. Some skilled talent never got out of the Bs and some, like Thorpe, moved up the ladder. Here, near the start of his career, directing this western starring Wally Wales, whose career declined and who later worked in small and bit parts, we see Thorpe's ability to clip out bits that work well, suitable for editing. In fact, his later career was largely predicated on his ability to get good performances out of less than stellar talent by these methods.
Wally returns home from two years in prison for a crime he may not have committed to the arms of his mother and immediately rescues the daughter of the local banker in an exciting sequence. While he was gone, things had not gone well -- his mother had lost the ranch when all the cattle had disappeared and she could not pay the mortgage. Unraveling the not-too-deep mystery of what exactly happened makes up the story.
The action sequences are the best parts of this movie. What it lacks is good performances. Its strengths lie in the ability of Thorpe to make those performances seem better by use of fast cutting and wide shots. Jessie Cruzon, as the love interest, has a fresh-faced look to her, but no one, save Thorpe, really prospered off this movie. Thorpe would work his way out of the genre in another five years and up to the heights of MGM within a decade. In the meantime, this is a decent but not terribly distinguished silent B western.