12 June 2019 | boblipton
They Buy The Ranch, Not The Farm
It has a great leading trio of Harry Carey, Hoot Gibson and "Big Boy" Williams, with a fine supporting cast, including Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, and Sam Hardy. It's beautifully photographed by Harold Wenstrom in that wide-shot style that early RKO westerns used. The story is an early "Three Mesquiteers" one by William Colt MacDonald, years before it became a series for Republic and turned to mush. Me, I have trouble with the pacing of the movie.
Our lead trio -- Carey, Gibson and Williams -- have some reward money in the bank, and receive word they have bought a ranch. When they show up, they discover that the town and countryside is controlled by Sam Hardy, who has an awful lot of money, a bar, and is paying off deputy Adrian Moriss. The three ranch owners won't put up with nonsense, so Hardy hires Tom Tyler to kill Gibson, convinced the others are just comic relief.
It's a fine framework for a western movie, but the script appears to have been cut down from a fairly complex novel, or perhaps the subplots were cut short in the editor's booth, to be just raised and solved. In addition, I thought the dialogue pacing poor, which falls at the feet of director Wallace Fox. Much about this movie remains good enough to make it a good B Western, but not one of the best.