12 July 2018 | boblipton
Bob Steele Stars in a Non-Bob-Steele Western
Bob Steele is about to be married to Lois January, but Lew Meehan and his gang of outlaws have the ranch blockaded. Only fighting preacher Forrest Taylor (who has the best role in the movie) is willing to defy them. Bob can't figure out why, so he decides he'll tackle the whole gang on his lonesome.
When Republic began backing Bob Steele's B westerns and his father left for Monogram, Bob was on his own, and it was good and bad. The writing averaged a lot better than the scripts his father turned out -- this one was by George H. Plympton from a story by Johnston McCulley, and you can't have better cinematic pulp than that! Likewise, the production values were better.
On the other hand, the stories were no longer written to show off Bob's athletic and acrobatic skills. In this one, he doesn't mount his horse eccentrically, he doesn't punch anyone until forty-six minutes into the movie, and the big fight at the end has the good guys riding in to save him!
B Westerns had their stars, just as surely as the major studios did, and the best of them were star vehicles, written to the strengths of their stars. This one may be a good B Western, but it is a generic B Western, that any youngish actor who could ride a horse could lead. As glad as I am to see Bob Steele in a Western, I'd prefer to see him in a Bob Steele Western, and this isn't one.