School teacher Virginia King, annoyed by the unwanted attentions from Mesa City sheriff Jud Cronin, resigns and departs for Yuma. Her stagecoach is attacked by a gang led be Cronin's ... See full summary »
George O'Brien stars in The Marshal Of Mesa City as a Wyatt Earp type figure who is drafted reluctantly to cleaning up said town by the good citizens. The Doc Holiday of the film is Henry Brandon who plays a notorious gunslinger who aligns himself with O'Brien.
The corruption is systemic in Mesa City, the actual leader of the outlaws is sheriff Leon Ames, he's the county sheriff and O'Brien is the town marshal, just like John Behan and Virgil Earp in real life. Ames is a pretty shrewd villain and he's got quite a few tricks up his sleeve. He's also got a Snidely Whiplash like interest in the town school teacher Virginia Vale. That alone puts him in direct conflict with O'Brien.
Playing a nice role is the screen's greatest mother figure of the time Mary Gordon who runs the boarding house where Vale lives and who does her best to get O'Brien and Vale together. It seemed like Gordon who is known mostly for being Mrs. Hudson in the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes mysteries was everyone's dear little Irish mother on screen though she came from Scotland. She's quite the little cupid here.
The Marshal Of Mesa City is a nice no frills B western from RKO that holds up a lot better than some of the singing cowboys of the day in terms of structure and plot.