29 June 2018 | boblipton
Robert Bradbury Directs His Son in a Movie About Bad Father-Son Relationships
Ed Brady is a cattle rustler whose son opened fire and was gunned down by Hank Bell's men. To gain his vengeance, Brady kidnaps Bell's son, so he can beat him every day, grow up into Bob Steele and be shot down by his own father as part of his gang; Bell is now a lawman, and will stay one until he catches up with Brady.
It's what we call a refrigerator movie in my family, the sort of film that draws you in while you're in the theater, having a fine time. Then you go home, open the refrigerator to get a drink of ice water. You pause and say "Isn't that vengeance a little slow? Would he have the patience to wait all that time? Nah!"
However, while I was watching it, I was having a fine time, and that's good enough for me. I did wonder why, when Brady had Steele stripped to the waist so he could be tied to the tree for a whipping, he didn't go through with it. This was a pre-code movie, and even under the Production Code, there were some major examples of that sadistic homo-erotic trope; it would be a favorite plot point in Alan Ladd movies. They probably considered it, but since this was going to be a children's matinee movie and writer-director Robert Bradbury was Bob Steele's father, they probably laughed uneasily about father-son relationships and dropped the idea.