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  • The "all talking production" of Nevada Buckaroo has two of the best cowboy stars of the 1930's playing off of one another: Bob Steele and George Hayes. Bob Steele was one of the first talking cowboys and I have always liked him in the movies. George Hayes was still a few years away from creating his niche as the ultimate sidekick.

    In the cowboy movies it is a universal truth that good guys are always good, bad guys can be converted to good guys, and once a good guy-- always a good guy! Bob Steele is the bad guy who goes straight, then holds out hope for his former compadres. Not only does Steele need to make a great change in his life, but he wants to right some wrongs for himself and his old gang. The leader of the gang is played by George Hayes.

    George Hayes could play a mean villain, and this plot setup gives him something to run with. I have seen other movies with George Hayes from the same time period. In some movies he really stands out while in others he never seems any better than the rest of the cast. I've even seen him in a bit part that made me wonder if he did it because of a contract or because he needed the money. Despite some of those other roles, Hayes is really good as Cherokee in Nevada Buckaroo. Once he became successful as a sidekick to Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers he never got to do the villain parts anymore. There were a couple of early Hoppies with Hayes as a villain, but that was it.

    There are some continuity problems in Nevada Buckaroo. I have to stop planning to write my commentary while watching a movie, but in this case I am correct to point out that Nevada Buckaroo does have some things that happen without enough explanation. It's too bad, too. The movie does not look cheap at all. There is plenty of action and a great plot. I was a little distracted, but I watch westerns because I love good guys who are always good, bad guys who can be converted to good guys, and once a good guy-- always a good guy! I recommend Nevada Buckaroo as a good example of an early sound western.
  • Bob Steele became a superlative actor; George Hayes always was, even before he became the lovable "Gabby."

    Dorothy Dix was a lovely woman, and a capable actress, but quit movies about five years after making "The Nevada Buckaroo."

    Those three and the rest of the very good cast had some excellent dialog in a far above average script.

    The director, John P. McCarthy, of whom I know nothing else, did a masterful job. The last shot, of Buck, the Nevada Kid, riding into the proverbial sunset, was absolutely beautiful.

    Unfortunately, I saw this in a pretty bad print at YouTube, and I guess I am juxtaposing a bit to praise it as highly as I do. But the quality shines through even the mediocre print.

    I recommend "The Nevada Buckaroo," but hope you can see a better version. Do see it, though, for a reminder of what high-quality a film even though low-budget a B western can be.
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's marvelous how nearly all Bob Steele's early sound westerns are so good, and The Nevada Buckaroo is no exception. Admittedly, sound was still a novelty when this one was made and any excuse serves as a good excuse to show off the wonder of sound. But in addition to the dialogue and all the sound effects, we also get a pretty good story that provides some excellent opportunities for the players including Bob Steele, Dorothy Dix, Gabby Hayes and especially Tina Menard, here making her movie debut (which explains why someone with such a large and important part is listed so far down the cast list). The direction was in the capable hands of John P. McCarthy and the crisp photography is the work of someone previously unknown to me, Faxon M. Dean. Ah! I see that he quit making movies in 1933. I wonder what he did for the rest of his life? He died in 1965 at the age of 74. This movie is available on an excellent Alpha DVD.
  • The Nevada Kid (Bob Steele) gets a pardon from the governor (Gordon De Main) by dubious means. Naturally he's shocked when the town folk don't roll out the red carpet but want to give him a neck tie party. Interesting to see Steele without his dad directing and George Hayes before his Gabby persona. Great to see Dorothy Dix play the lady in waiting in one of the rare movies of her short lived career. Original Keystone Cop, Glen Cavender plays a serious cop as the sheriff gunning for the Kid. Great performances also by Artie Ortego, Ed Brady, Billy Engle and Tina Menard.