27 May 2010 | MartinHafer
Wow...get a load of IMDb's second summary...as well as John Wayne's two friends.
I was a bit shocked when I looked at the summaries for this film on IMDb. While the movie clocks in at only 59 minutes, its summary is about as long and detailed as you'd expect for "Gone With The Wind"!! Someone must have really, really liked this film! "Somewhere in Sonora" is one of a half dozen John Wayne B-westerns he made for the Leon Schlesinger Studio (which, in turn, were distributed through First National-Warner Brothers). Today I actually sat down and watched four of the six films and found them to be a very mixed bag. The first two, "Haunted Gold" and "Ride Him Cowboy" were simply dreadful--with nothing to recommend them. This was a bit of a surprise, as Wayne made a ton of B-westerns in the 1930s and most of them are better than the films of his contemporaries, such as Gene Autry. Fortunately, the third film I saw, "The Big Stampede" turned out to be a dandy little film. Was this an abberation or are there other good Schlesinger/Wayne films to be seen--and would "Somewhere in Sonora" be one of the good ones? The film begins with two Easterner women traveling out west where they meet Wayne. Wayne is about to race in a buckboard race and makes a quip about the other guy's wagon falling apart during the race. When this actually occurs (due to the machinations of evil gamblers, not Wayne), he is immediately assumed to be guilty. The two uptight ladies completely hate him (who can hate him?!) and Wayne is left to rot in jail--until his friends help bust him out of jail. He travels to Sonora, Mexico and deliberately insinuates himself with an evil gang--as he wants to help a friend break up this group of thugs. His cover as an escaped prisoner will no doubt help him in this task.
Later, when the two uptight and annoying ladies happen upon Wayne again, he manages to save their lives. At this point, it's obvious even to the most oblivious in the audience that romance is in bloom between Wayne and the less annoying sister. But can Wayne get the girl and break up Monte Black's gang? This is the SAME gang that boasts that no member has ever left the gang....alive! But, of course, Wayne is the handsome hero and this is a B-western, so is there much doubt?! One thing that makes this film a bit difference from the usual B-western of the era is the presence of two sidekicks--not one. The two guys are pretty cute together and they made a sweet couple--though I am not sure whether or not this was the writer's intention. They sure seemed VERY happy together--just like an old married couple. Considering that this film debuted in the Pre-Code era, perhaps this WAS the implication--especially since the two were confirmed misogynists.
Overall, this film is pretty much what you'd expect from a Wayne B-film. He's likable and the film is pleasant, but like all B-westerns, not terribly original or believable but still a lot of fun. Worth seeing.