12 January 2014 | MartinHafer
Predictable but entertaining.
During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, Hollywood made a bazillion B-westerns--starring the likes of Roy Rogers, Tim McCoy, Gene Autry, Ken Maynard, Buster Crabbe and many others. Among these stars, one of my own personal favorites is Bob Steele. Steele did not have many of the attributes of the bigger stars of the genre. He wasn't nearly as handsome as most, couldn't sing (or at least I never heard him sing in any of his films) and he was very short to be a hero at only 5'5". However, he WAS very entertaining--very quick with his fists, a dandy rider and a no-nonsense sort of character. While "The Law Rides" is not among is best films, it is very typical of his films.
The film begins with a man discovering gold. He returns home to tell his family and stake a claim but is shot by a scum-bag who wants to steal the gold. Fortunately, the dead man's brother (Steele) sees the baddie riding away and gives chase--ultimately catching him. While this jerk is in jail awaiting trial, some locals abduct him and try to hang him. While Steele's character wouldn't be heart-broken about this, he dons a mask and rescues the guy because he needs to learn where the gold was discovered. But Steele's plan sucks and soon the baddie is aided by his gang and escapes for real. Can our intrepid hero learn where the gold was found, catch the killer AND get the girl by the end of the picture?
For the most part, this film is pretty much the usual formula. It did have two scenes I particularly liked, though. The scene where Bob and his friend were handcuffed and legcuffed together was pretty funny as they were trying to escape (you have to see it to see what I mean). I also LOVED the scene near the end where the lady acts very intelligently. This is no damsel in distress but a very smart and resourceful woman--a major plus to the film. Overall, well worth seeing if you enjoy the genre. Simple, undemanding but entertaining.