28 February 2014 | MartinHafer
George Hayes before he became Gabby.
Gabby Hayes is a familiar character in B-westerns and he appeared as a law abiding sidekick in tons of films with Roy Rogers, John Wayne and many others. However, before he became the bearded, woman-hating, crusty old good guy, Hayes played in a lot of westerns in a variety of roles--and often as the villain. Additionally, in some of these you'd never recognize him with his dentures, clean-shaven face and fancified demeanor. In 1931, the 'Gabby' part of George Hayes was still to come--and here in "The Nevada Buckaroo" he looks a bit like Gabby but is the leader of a gang of outlaws! Say it isn't so, Gabby!
When the film begins, the Nevada Kid (Bob Steele) is in prison for his misdeeds. At the same time, his home town has sent a letter to the governor asking that he appoint the town the county seat. However, Cherokee (Hayes) intercepts the letter and forges a new letter from the supposed townsfolk asking the governor to pardon the Kid! Well, the governor is fooled by the ruse and soon the Nevada Kid is out of prison and back in his old home town. The problem is that almost everyone there hates him even though he's vowed to live a straight and narrow life. At the same time, his old gang feels betrayed that he isn't returning to them. What's to become of the Kid--especially when crimes keep occurring and folks are real anxious to blame it one him?
This is a good B-western because the plot is rather unique. While it won't change your life, it's worth seeing even if some of the supporting actors could barely deliver their lines. But I cannot rate it any higher than 4 because of the bad acting and the super-annoying stuttering guy.
By the way, I love watching how directors often strategically situated folks to make Steele look taller than he actually was. Using very short supporting actors and having Steele standing on steps and with very tall boots, much of his diminutive size is hidden.