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  • Warning: Spoilers
    By now I've seen most of John Wayne's Westerns for Lone Star Productions, and this one so far ranks just above "The Lawless Frontier" as the poorest of the bunch. Interestingly they were made back to back in 1934 in about the middle of the run, both directed by Robert North Bradbury. Plot points and continuity didn't seem to mean much back then, but you know what, they're still pretty much fun to take a look at every now and then.

    The story has a Canadian setting for a change, featuring place names like Fort Minnetaki and Wabinosh, along with the prerequisite French accents of the villains. The two main heavies are LaRocque (Robert Frazer) and Benoit (Earl Dwire), and they even have a nasty female accomplice named Marie (Iris Lancaster), who might have been a red herring in Rod Drew's (Wayne) quest to find the missing daughter of a man who died years ago. In the movie's opening scene, the man who sets Drew on his mission surmised that his long lost niece might have been named Marie after her mother.

    Missing from the credits this time around are Gabby and Yak, so Noah Beery Jr. fills in as Rod Drew's buddy from college, teaming up with each other after Wabi (Beery) is framed for a murder aboard a train. Once on the run, the pair have everything they can do to remain on dry ground. Wayne's character winds up jumping into a river no less than three times including once on horseback.

    This is the only time I've seen Noah Beery Jr. and Sr. together in a film, though it happened a few times in their careers. The elder Beery runs a trading post in the story, along with his adopted daughter Felice (Verna Hillie). It made me wonder why Newsome (Beery Sr.) offered Marie LaFleur a job to straighten out his books instead of having Felice do it. Just one of those story points that wasn't thought out too well.

    Another was when Drew and Wabi find the cave with the gold from the map they found in a deserted cabin (complete with skeletons of two former partners who killed each other - nice touch!). One of the dead men from the cabin was Felice's real father, brother of the man who asked Drew to look for his niece. Along with a small sack of gold the men find, there's a photo of an adult Felice just as she appears in the story. How would her father have gotten that picture if he died before she grew up???

    Keep an eye on the canoe scene when Drew and Wabi leave the cabin with the rescued Mountie. When the Mountie is shot by one of the villains, he falls backwards toward Wabi, but in the very next scene he's lying in the other direction toward Drew.

    By the time the good guy and bad guy posses head for the finale, I wound up scratching my head as to where all those riders came from. Most of the time LaRocque had only Benoit and another henchman around, but during the shootout he had at least a half dozen. While the Mountie outpost in the middle of the Canadian wilderness only had a handful of men on hand, by the time they rode off with Drew in the lead there were probably a couple dozen riders on the chase.

    Well I guess that's why it's such a blast watching these early John Wayne oaters, it's fun just to catch all the goofy stuff going on, in addition to the often exciting chase scenes and horse dives off a cliff. This one also boasted some pretty impressive scenery, most notably that mountain valley view when Wabi points out the way to Wabinosh. If you stay alert, you'll also catch some pretty interesting product placement for Buffalo Lager Beer and industrial size Karo Syrup - I wonder if they had to pay for those?
  • Stuntman Yakima Canutt, in a 1978 interview,had no problem recalling 1934's "The Trail Beyond." He recalls it as... "the one where John, Eddie Parker(stuntman) and I stayed wet more than we were dry" and said he told producer Paul Malvern to count him out of any more films where people spend most of the time paddling canoes up and down a river, and just call Buster Crabbe instead.

    "The Trail Beyond" was easily the most water-logged Wayne film until he lost encounters with an octopus/octopii in "Reap the Wild Wind" and the later "Wake of the Red Witch." Within "The Trail Beyond", Canutt, Parker or Wayne(and sometimes all three because of close-ups)leap off a train into a lake;paddles up the river in a canoe; leaps off a bluff and swims to a canoe; paddles up the river a second time and jumps in the water to swim back and upset LaRocque's canoe; jumps in the water from a bank to prevent a canoe from going over the falls and, in general, is wet more often than dry.

    In the department of Be Careful What You Wish For, an IMDb commentator writes an informed and loving piece about the California locale of this movie, and then wishes it had just been shot in color. One viewing of the colorized video version may have left him him thinking his beloved countryside looked very well and better in Archie Stout's b&w original photography.

    A distraction may have been the reward poster on John Wayne, as "Gat Ganns" from his earlier "West of the Divide" that shows up on the wall of Beery's "Waninosh House" trading post (which also shows up in "The Man from Utah"), but a much larger distraction was Robert Frazer's and Earl Dwire's attempts at French accents, or whatever accent they tried to employ.

    And the reward posters aren't a "goof." Monogram and resident-art director E. R. Hickson didn't go in much for redecorating standing sets. Those posters showed up for years in later Monogram westerns post 1937.
  • Rod Drew is sent by a friend to locate his long lost daughter Marie, who he believes is in Northwest Canada. En route by train, Drew meets his old friend, a half breed named Wabi, who immediately becomes involved in a murder frame up and the two jump from the train wanted men. Tracking down clues to Marie's whereabouts, Drew and Wabi make their way to an abandoned cabin and find a map that Drew's friend and a partner made, showing the location of a treasure. Wabi takes Drew to a trading post run by Newsome and assisted by his daughter Felice (whom Wabi loves). Benoit, who works as a clerk in Newsome's store, tries to grab the map so he can get the treasure for LaRocque, a trapper and the film's bad man. Noting that Drew and Wabi are wanted men, LaRocque has one of his men kidnap and impersonate a Mountie, and get the map when they arrive back at the cabin, however Drew gives them a fake map, and he, Wabi, and Ryan (the Mountie) go after the treasure, while LaRocque and his men close in on Newsome's cabin to get the map. A very enjoyable B film with what seems like better directing and production values than seen in previous Bradbury films, which probably due to the fact that its based on the Curwood novel, rather than being an original Bradbury story. Nice cinematography highlight the film and overshadow the wooden acting by the entire cast, especially by Frazer and Dwire as the villains. Much of the start of the movie has character introduction which gets the film off on a wrong foot, but the film settles in and becomes enjoyable. Rating, based on B westerns, 7.
  • ptb-813 December 2008
    This is a terrific Monogram-Lone Star western from 1934 which for some reason has me quite enchanted. I find the whole look and tone of the film like a comic book from my childhood; and it is the imagination struck from this that has me remembering scenes for days later. I know it is not a lot different from a zillion other 55 minute westerns of the 30s from poverty row, but this one has several compelling factors: A tall, young and handsome John Wayne in really groovy jeans and shirts, Noah beery Jr whose modern hair style sees him look like a young Warren Beatty, astoundingly glorious photography of mountains streams mighty waterfalls and incredible jaw-dropping horse-over-the-cliff stunts, hilarious PepeLePew French Canadian baddies, a great scene with 2 skeletons at a table; and very inventive camera angles and clear- lake water photography. THE TRAIL BEYOND is a real time travel western and the viewer can really feel the time and place. I show this surprise gem to many modern friends who are equally astonished. If there are many more of this caliber I want to see them. THE TRAIL BEYOND is worth the journey.
  • Great alpine scenery. Yes, I know, there's a story too, but who needs it with all the terrific vistas to marvel at. Lone Star didn't just ride around California's Owens Valley on this one. No sir, they got right into some of the best mountain panoramas of the Southern Sierras. Nearly every frame has something picturesque to look at.

    Maybe you can follow the plot. I couldn't. Something about a gold mine and some baddies who speak Frenchified English about as well as I can. Poor Verna Hillie, she has about ten lines in the whole movie. Still, it does get tiresome looking at all those ugly guys. Then too, watch Noah Beery Sr., who has the look and voice of a first rate villain. Definitely, he should have played the lead bad guy. Still there are some good touches-- the broken bottle (how clever), the race down the river (scope out that waterfall), and the great Earl Dwire (no actor, but with a face that would scare Frankenstein).

    The only advantage most A Westerns have over this lowly programmer is script quality. Sure, that's a biggie, but otherwise this little V W can hold its own against the sleeker Cadillacs of the day.
  • For me, the movie was (a) poor but (b) fun.

    "Poor" because the directing was lame, the dialogue was hard not to chuckle at, the fight-scenes were definitely proto, and the plot meandering.

    But still it was "fun" because here was young John Wayne giving it his all, jumping off cliffs, diving into every body of water he could find, and fighting Bad French Guys. And it's fun to see such a young, naive movie, so endearingly but sincerely lame, trying hard to do nothing but entertain. And for me, a lifelong lover of Mammoth Lakes, it was fun to see Crystal Crag, and a shot down at Twin Lakes from below Lake Mamie described as "a bend in the river."

    I just wish it had been color!
  • This has always stood out from the (star) pack for me, almost wholly because of the scenery and the sympathetic photography. The screenplay storyboard is plain to read as you're watching, stilted dialogue ending abruptly at scene ends, trip wires pulling down horses galore, a rope yanking a shot baddie offa his horse, reflecting mirrors directing light at the subjects etc.

    The usual Golden Age convention leftovers from Edwardian times are also apparent - suspicion of murder falling naturally upon the head of a person of mixed parentage, the handy ethnic minority (French) ready to be the bad guys to a man, beautiful heiresses innocent and untarnished by money etc. Plenty of chasing about, silent fight scenes, an undeveloped love affair, hair-raising stunts with various stuntmen and stunthorses and a confusing climax.

    OK - but I still love and recommend this one!
  • John Wayne heads to Canada to find the niece of his father's best friend and bring her home to him. On the train north he meets an old college buddy (Noah Beery, Jr.) who gets into trouble, so the two wind up leaping from a speeding train. This is in the first four minutes! Later, they find the girl but get mixed up with mounties, villains with bad French accents, and a fight over a goldmine.

    Of all the cheapie westerns John Wayne made early in his career, this is one of the best I've seen. The stunts, by the great Yakima Canutt and Eddie Parker, are outstanding. Cool to see Noah Beery Sr. and Jr. in the same movie together. The Mammoth Lakes area location shooting is a HUGE plus. They usually shot these cheapies in the same old bland ordinary places. The change of scenery makes a world of difference. The Archie Stout photography helps a lot, too. It's a simple but entertaining oater. At just under an hour, I see no reason you shouldn't check it out.
  • Within the first 10 minutes of The Trail Beyond, John Wayne gets a chore from a friend to locate the friend's friend and his daughter in the Canadian woods, meets another friend Noah Beery, Jr. from college, gets innocently involved in a murder and is fleeing up to Canada with Beery.

    There's almost as much canoe paddling as horseback riding in The Trail Beyond for our intrepid heroes. They've got to keep on the move from the Mounties who are looking to extradite both of them to America and Wayne's still got his mission on his mind.

    And if that ain't enough they get involved in a feud between the Hudson Bay Company local trading post owner, Noah Beery Sr. and some French Meti trappers. They're the bad guys and as another reviewer remarked their accents are pretty bad. Like Pepe Le Pew.

    Other than Island in the Sky, I believe this might be the only John Wayne film with a Canadian location. Even though they got no farther to Canada than the Sierras in California.

    What this film does give, is an opportunity to see both Noah Beerys, senior and junior in the same film. I saw that they have about seven screen credits jointly and this I believe is the only one available on VHS and DVD. Furthermore for once the senior Beery is not playing a bad guy.

    So while this one won't even make the top Fifty of John Wayne's films for all those reasons it might be worth a look.
  • "The Trail Beyond" is another in the series of Lone Star westerns John Wayne starred in between 1933 and 1935. Most were directed by Robert Bradbury (father of Bob Steele). This one is significant in a number of ways:

    1) George (Gabby) Hayes is NOT in the cast;

    2) It is beautifully photographed (Archie Stout is credited);

    3) It features Noah Beery Sr. and Jr.

    4) It has "French Canadian" Trappers in the "wilds" of Canada.

    The best thing about this film is the spectacular outdoor scenery which is supposed to be Northern Canada but actually is probably some place in California since the poverty row studios of the day simply would not have the resources to film in a distant location.

    The plot involves Wayne headin' north to find the long lost niece of a friend and bring her back. Along the way he meets up with an old college chum (Beery Jr.) who just happens to be going the same way. They soon get accused of murder, discover a lost gold mine and are pursued by the Mounties.

    Being a Canadian, I've always had a problem with Hollywood's depiction of the "wilds" of Canada. This film is no exception. The chief villains of the piece (Robert Frazer, Earl Dwire) are garbed in the stereotypical plaid shirts, checkered pants, sashes and brimmed caps (What no toques?). Their French accents are hilarious. We see log cabin "settlements" instead of towns and canoes and snowshoes abound everywhere.

    On the positive side, Yakima Canutt's stuntwork is outstanding as usual. He performs a leap from a moving train off a bridge into a river, rides two horses in succession off of a cliff (I'm sure I've seen this stunt in other pictures in the series) and performs several horse falls during the film's climax. He can be clearly seen doubling Wayne when he vaults onto a horse and gallops away.

    The acting in this film is just plain awful. Wayne was still learning his craft at this time and it shows. Berry Jr. was just starting out too. The less said about heroine Verna Hillie the better. I had higher hopes when I saw Berry Senior's name in the cast. But unfortunately, he is wasted in a bit part as a the owner of a trading post. (They didn't have stores in Canada you see). Berry Sr. might have lifted this picture a notch had he played the villain instead of the inept Frazer and Dwire.
  • "The Trail Beyond" is one of many low-budget western B-movies made by John Wayne during the 1930s. Rather unusually for a Western, however, this one is set in Canada. No doubt the 19th-century Canadian West offered as many challenges to settlers as the American West, and gave rise to as many adventures, but in general Hollywood tended to ignore any part of the North American continent lying north of the 49th parallel. (Apart, of course, from Alaska).

    Here Wayne's character Rod Drew and his friend Wabi travel to Northern Canada searching for a long-lost gold miner and his missing daughter. A complication arises, however, when they are falsely accused of murder and pursued by the Mounties. ("Wabi" is presumably an American Indian name as the character is said to be half-Indian. As, however, the name is pronounced "Wobbie" I assumed that he was really called "Robbie" but spoke with a lisp).

    The film exhibits many of the weaknesses I have come to associate with "Poverty Row" westerns, namely:-

    A hackneyed, cliché-ridden plot, in this case revolving around a treasure map, a gold mine and a gang of villains out to steal the treasure from its rightful owner.

    Ethnically stereotyped bad guys, in this case French-Canadians with accents as villainous as their personalities. (Well, at least it makes a change from casting Mexicans or Indians as the villains).

    Dubious acting skills. Even Wayne does little to suggest a major star in the making.

    Lack of attention to period detail. Most of the cast wear generic late 19th century Western costumes, but at one point we see Rod and Wabi wearing 1930s-style lounge suits while travelling in a train of distinctly 20th century vintage.

    Badly choreographed fist-fights. It would appear from watching this film that an extremely effective fighting technique, and one guaranteed to knock your opponent off his feet, is to punch the air about six inches away from his nose.

    Some of the stunts, however, are well done, and the film does have one feature not normally associated with Poverty Row. Most B-movie Westerns of this period were filmed on a Hollywood back lot, but this one was obviously shot on location against a background of real forests, lakes and mountains. Admittedly, filming took place around Mammoth Lakes, California, around twenty degrees of latitude further south than the film's ostensible setting, but much of the photography is in fact strikingly attractive. It is this feature which is responsible for the film getting a higher mark from me than it otherwise would have done. 5/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In this "Lone Star" entry, John Wayne is looking for his father's best friend's niece, in "Canada." What makes it stand out is the amazing location photography of Mammoth Lakes and beautiful California! It's watchable just for the scenery! Unfortunately, more time is spent on canoing, chases and fighting than on character development: the heroine is a cypher, and there's no love scene with John Wayne, even though they paddle off into the sunset together.

    Noah Beery Sr.'s part could have been enlarged; poor Robert Frazer, veteran of over 200 movies and serials, was his usual wooden self, with that phony movie French accent-- his non talents are best displayed in his meaty role as Charles Beaumont in the bizarre "White Zombie" (1931). Earl Dwyer stretches his thespian skills with a matching phony French accent of his own.

    The story is merely a trifle to fill in the lulls before, between and after the fantastic outdoor sequences. Not the best "Lone Star," but unique in its way as a non-Western Western, and definitely watchable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Copyright 15 September 1934 by Monogram Pictures Corp. No New York opening. U.S. release: 22 October 1934. U.K. release through Pathé: 27 May 1935. 55 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: Cowboy journeys to Canada to track down a missing heiress. His quest is complicated when a young friend accidentally kills a card sharp and the two are forced to flee across country.

    COMMENT: Hard to believe this is a "Lone Star Western". Even the music is different and the budget is pretty close to borderline "A". True, director Bradbury is up to his usual editing tricks, including disconcerting whip pans that don't quite work and odd wipes, but otherwise technical credits, including music scoring and sound recording, are of a much higher standard than usual.

    The Canadian locations are also mighty impressive, especially as an action background. There are plenty of chases both on horse and canoe, with running inserts and some truly spectacular stunts, leading up to an action-packed double climax in which the thrills are crosscut between the Mounties cleaning up the renegades and our hero pursuing the chief villain.

    Although heavy on co-incidence, the fast-moving plot holds the attention. Wayne is doubtless doubled for the high diving shots, but he does an impressive amount of swimming. Miss Hillie makes an attractive heroine, and it's good to see both Noahs, father and son. (Is this their only film together?) On the other hand, Frazer makes a somewhat lackluster villain. This must be one of the few westerns in which the heavies are well and truly outclassed in charisma by the good guys. Admittedly the baddies are hampered by some pretty ridiculous dialogue and dopey accents.

    Despite these examples of amateurish acting, The Trail Beyond all told is a superior western. In fact one of the best of Wayne's early "B"-hero career.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This early northern is certainly the most charming, engrossing and lovable action movie I have seen in a while; here, the aquatic element becomes the setting of a few thrilling action scenes, Wayne and his pal often jump in the water: from a train, or mounted, and travel with a canoe, the landscape is rightly dwelt upon. Very good action movie, genuinely enthralling and delightful, it has many distinctions: its genre (being a northern, and a genuine one), its landscape, its main actress, and its intrinsic quality (therefore having its fans), it also has the quirky scene: here, when the two youngsters discover the remains of the gold prospectors; I liked it as a suspenseful action movie, as a northern, and for its style, or what else to call the charm its storytelling exerts. 'The Trail …' offers us one of Verna Hillie's performances, which is a thing to celebrate and indulge in, yet one has a good thing to think about Iris Lancaster, intriguing in a bit part as a scheming girl. Eddie Parker made a good role as the trooper Ryan, and Earl Dwire gave an unassuming but dependable performance (from an age when Wayne and Dwire met often on the sets; in '34, the two made eight movies, of which six were directed by Bradbury, and two by Fraser, then they met again in '35). Wayne takes an obvious pride in his cool pentagram spurs. On the other hand, Beery the younger, one from the famous acting clan Beery, was more expressive, and given a slightly more interesting role, dramatically, as the rejected backwoodsman.

    Some highlights of this northern would be: the already mentioned remains of the missing Newsome, Wayne breaks a bottle with his fancy spurs, the galloping troopers lift up a running outlaw. 'The Trail Beyond' is very likable, a very good northern, made with zest.

    One received idea has it that widespread lawlessness is missing from the northern; this is surely not so with the ones I have seen.

    And another one claims that only the movies that glamorize troopers are true northern movies; this would likely make the northern the twin of the cavalrymen movies.

    Throughout the '30s, a rising Wayne pioneered some sub-genres: the musical western, the northern, and thus helped bringing them into fashion. (In '33, '34, '35 he pretended singing in his movies.) In this movie, he is billed first.
  • I wish folks would quit comparing these films to any film in the year 1007. These films were short on money, long on excitement, and mainly created for the kids to have heroes to cheer for! I get tired of people putting these movies in B categories. Could you do any better with what they had? Almost no budget, and remember John Wayne wasn't considered a STAR until Stagecoach. He was only nominated twice for an academy award, once for the Sands of Iwo Jima and True Grit! For an icon, a movie legend and larger than life person, I think he should have won more Oscars! The Seachers from 1956 didn't win and it is one of the finest films ever made.
  • Duke sets out to find a missing girl while saving his friend in a crooked poker game. Being chased by the Canadian Mounted Police, they find a gold mine map in a house full of skeletons. Set in the panoramas of the Southern Sierras, attractive heroine Verna Hillie and Iris Lancaster provide some great scenery of their own. Now add the stunts, by Yakima Canutt, Eddie Parker, and Artie Ortego which are outstanding. Great to see Noah Beery and his his greatest TV dad son (Noah Beery Jr.) together. The first movie Robin Hood, Robert Frazer aptly plays the villain who is also on the chase with his henchmen including western acting stalwart, Earl Dwire. This early John Wayne movie is 55 minutes of action packed adventure and showed why he was destined to be a star.
  • With a bigger budget than other movies of John Wayne's of this period, this 55 minute programmer has a more interesting story and higher production values than those others.

    The version I saw, on TCM had a very clean and crisp transfer and even looked like it had been restored.

    The story goes something like this: John Wayne travels to Canada in search of a missing miner and his daughter, but ends up a fugitive when he helps a friend who has been framed for murder to escape the law. In a deserted mountain cabin, complete with skeletons, they stumble on a treasure map. Deciding to go after the loot, they're on the run again, until a devious trapper plans to get his hands on it by posing as a mountie.

    There's some wonderful scenery (pity it's not later and in Technicolor) that rather takes over from the story but that's no bad thing and is a nice change from the dust and Indians of your usual western.

    The Duke's delivery of his lines are stilted and rather wooden but he's unsurpassed at mounting a horse whilst running - and from the back of the animal, which arguably is far more important than eloquent dialogue!

    Though hardly a classic and probably a bit pretty for young boys wanting 'cowboys'n'indians' action, The Trail Beyond remains quite watchable.
  • John Wayne makes a promise to an old family friend to find his long absent brother and niece in the wilds of Canada and ends up on the run there when his traveling companion (Noah Beery Jr.) shoots a man in self defense. To make matters even worse, Wayne finds the man he's looking for's skeleton along with a treasure map that he has to protect from some ruthless French-Canadians!

    A nice entry in Lone Star/ Monogram Pictures' John Wayne series, The Trail Beyond looks like one of those twelve-chapter serials whittled down to just under an hour. It's absolutely loaded down with adventurous action and great stunt work, including a breathtaking jump from a moving train and a slow-motion horse-leap from a cliff into the water below. However, some of the falling horse stunts were easily recognizable from earlier films and kick up a lot of sand, or is it supposed to be snow?

    Excellent, well photographed northern California locations double for the Canadian wilderness. I don't know how faithful they are to the real Canada, but they look good.
  • wes-connors30 December 2010
    In western gear, brawny John Wayne (as Rod Drew) is asked to find a missing woman. Donning modern dress, he takes a train to Canada. On board, Mr. Wayne meets similarly-suited college pal Noah Beery Jr. (as Wabi). Mr. Berry's participation in a crooked poker game gets the two men off the train. They change into western outfits, and are on the run from the law.

    In an abandoned cabin, Wayne and Berry find a map to some gold, along with the skeletal remains of some unfortunates. They go to hide the map in a store run by pretty blonde Verna Hillie (as Felice) and papa Noah Beery Sr. (as George Newsome). The prospects of gold and a pretty woman attract the attention of dastardly Robert Frazer (as Jules LaRocque) and his gang…

    This "Lone Star Productions" film has a simple plot that keeps you forgetting where they've been and why they're going wherever they're going. The focus is on Wayne and "half breed" (huh?) sidekick Berry Jr., with the latter's real-life father in a few scenes. A very mild subplot involves their competition for the lovely Ms. Hillie. The film gets by on stunts and scenery.

    *** The Trail Beyond (10/22/34) Robert N. Bradbury ~ John Wayne, Noah Beery Jr., Verna Hillie, Noah Beery
  • Normally I regale angrily at the very idea of colourisation - but in this case, it might just have helped as much of this rather unremarkable Western takes place amongst some beautiful scenery - with John Wayne often seen alongside Yakima Canutt and good old Eddie Parker ("the Mountie") paddling to, from and frequently in, the rivers as they try to get to the bottom of a missing girl and a gold-mine swizzle. Will he get the girl and save the day? Well, what do you think... it's actually quite a fun little feature - with Wayne clearly demonstrating why he was signed in the first place and Noah Beery adding some humour as his card-sharp pal. Verna Hillie provides the glamourous love interest and the set-piece drama quite cheerily kills 55 minutes.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Now this one is a great use of the great outdoors, showing Wayne in some dangerous watery situations that involves diving into lakes and a lengthy sequence of rushing rivers that reach a waterfall. Wayne is helping a friend find his long-lost daughter, and ends up involved in the typical Western plot line involving fight over a gold mine. This film features to to Noah Beery's, senior and Junior, and not at all related. Beery Jr is an old friend of Wayne's, and Sr. is the owner of a trading post and the father of pretty Verna Hillie whom Jr. loves. Frankly, the gold mine plot line isn't all that interesting, but the location footage and action sequences are. Obviously some creativity was put into the atmosphere which doesn't seem to be the same old outdoor locations, aided by the river sequence that is thrilling as well as pretty. If only more of these Lonestar westerns had sequences shot in woodsy areas, they would have been better known for their visuals, but that really does add a plus to this film's rating.
  • Getting this John Wayne early film on DVD as a gift was one that brought back pleasant memories from my childhood. I realize that it's not "Oscar" quality but it was the kind of thing a six year old kid took pleasure in. John Wayne shows a strong hint of the super stardom to come.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Like the other John Wayne B-westerns I recently saw on the Encore Channel, this one had a very modern and inappropriate music track added to it by some idiots at Fox Lorber Pictures. Why they would do this is beyond me, as the electronic instruments and how invasive the music was seriously detracted from the film. My advice is to download the public domain copy linked to IMDb instead.

    In the 1930s-50s, some of the series B-westerns played very fast and loose with anachronisms and continuity. Early on, you see this is the case with "Trail Beyond" because although it begins in the old West, soon you see John Wayne dressed in stylish 1930s clothes and he's riding on a contemporary train car. Considering how often Gene Autry and others also had such silly anachronisms in their films, I guess I can cut this one a little slack.

    Wayne is sent to Canada by a friend. It seems that long ago, this friend and his brother became estranged. Now that he's an old man he wants to patch things up with his niece--who he's never seen. Due to his age, he needs Wayne to make this trip for him. However, on the way there, Wayne meets up with another friend (a college buddy?!) who is set up for murder and he helps the guy make a getaway. That Wayne--such a helpful and swell guy!

    The choice of the friend and the guy who played Mr. Newsome is pretty interesting, by the way. Newsome is played by Noah Beery and the young guy set up for a killing he didn't do is Noah Beery, Jr.--who you may recognize from his stint on "The Rockford Files" in the 1970s.

    Once in Canada, Wayne and his friend find a cabin with skeletons inside. In addition, there is a map showing the location of a gold mine. Naturally, there is an evil gang looking for the gold as well. I say naturally because just about every Wayne B-western involves an evil gang! Soon Wayne and Jr. get involved in rescuing a pretty lady from the gang. Surprise, surprise...the woman eventually turns out to be the missing niece---one of the least surprising twists in movie history! This is so predictable and contrived--especially when just as Wayne is about to tell this pretty lady about the Uncle and his desire to make her his heir, he's interrupted! Sheesh! In the meantime, an evil lady has decided to try to assume the role of his niece.

    In the midst of all this gang activity and deceit, there still is a killing attributed to Beery, Jr. and the Mounties are looking for him. Unfortunately, when a Mountie does catch the pair, he turns out to be one of the gang...and a faux Mountie! But, since it's a B-movie at well under an hour in length, very soon they manage to escape along with a real Mountie. Can they find the real niece AND the gold mine AND can Beery, Jr. prove his innocence?

    Aside from saying that the film was set in Canada, the Mountie and a couple guys with outrageous French-Canadian accents, this is pretty much like any other Wayne B-western. However, at least the crew filmed this in a location that at least looks reasonably Canadian (at Big Bear lake in California). This is pretty surprising, as this area is about 40 miles due east of Los Angeles--and not anywhere close to the wild North! The film is decent watchable B-western entertainment. Nothing deep or sophisticated here--just a very direct film made in a quick but exciting manner. This is not one to rush out to see and it has its obvious plot deficiencies, but it is worth seeing if you enjoy films of the genre.

    By the way, my favorite moment in the film was near the end. When the baddie was shot, he falls down near the edge of a cliff--dead. Yet, oddly, in the next cut, he's shown falling off the cliff--as if someone ha
  • jayraskin126 September 2007
    This one stays afloat for a while due to nice cinematography, a nice preppy performance by Noah Berry Jr. and wonderful scenery passing for Canada. Some fine stunts at the end are ruined by poor soundtrack work.

    The modern clothes on the female lead, typical of this series, this time was matched by modern clothes on the men in the train. The viewer isn't sure if its a Western or 1930's gangster film for a few minutes.

    The funniest thing in the film is a mistake. When Wayne and Berry find a gold mind, it is quite dark inside. Wayne lights a small candle and about 10,000 watts of light floods the set.

    There is one nicely directed scene. Wayne and Berry come upon two skeletons. They looked genuinely surprised. Its an unexpected and suspenseful moment.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    . . . watching Fox "News," with BEYOND's trios of guys shooting at each other during Great Canoe Chases and packs of gunmen firing a whole War's worth of bullets as their horses bite the dust left and right. Frequent references to "half-breeds" are thrown around, and the Dead keep popping back into the Land of the Living during BEYOND. But viewing Fox "News" before and after BEYOND, things are equally mashed up in its version of Real Life, 2016. First, one cop is dead, and some guy wearing a young D. "Rock" Johnson mask is identified as the shooter at large. Then, two officers have expired, done in by a couple of guys who fled in a Mercedes. Next, three Men in Blue have passed, and there's a lady in the ring of DPD attackers. Fox then says four policemen are fatalities, and a cornered rifleman has shot himself dead. Finally, Fox reports that ONE Veteran Gone Bad exterminated FIVE police, who blew him up with a robotic bomb! During BEYOND, the "half-breed" is a killer, but at least he has a girl. Then Mr. Multi-Racial's "victim" miraculously revives, but John Wayne steals his chick because she's inheriting a gold mine AND a cattle ranch! After the Mountie they're holding at gunpoint is fatally shot, Wayne prevents his corpse from going over a huge waterfall, so it revives (unlike BEYOND's main villain, who rolls off a cliff after a cop shoots him for picking up a rock!). Ask yourself, WWRD? (That is, What Would Rambo Do?)
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