27 April 2003 | bsmith5552
Buck Jones Rides Into the Sunset
"Dawn On the Great Divide" was to be another entry in Monogram's popular Rough Rider series which had starred Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. At that time McCoy was called into active service in WWII and he was replaced by Rex Bell who had starred in a couple of poverty row series in the early 30s. Jones and Hatton continued to play the same characters namely Buck Roberts and Sandy Hopkins respectively. Bell, who was no McCoy, played Jack Carson the third member of the trio.
The story (which appears to have a larger budget than usual) has Jones and Hatton guiding a wagon train of settlers and railroad supplies across the plains. Meanwhile Jim Corkle (Harry Woods) and his gang have been raiding the wagon trains disguised as Indians, to protect their interest in the town of Beaver Lake. Bell is working under cover within Wood's organization. Naturally, good triumphs over evil in the finale.
Unfortunately, this would be the last of the Rough Rider series as Buck Jones would die tragically in a fire in Boston in November, 1942 before this film was released. It was however, a better than average film for him to end his illustrious career, that had dated back to the early days of silent films.
The picture is also blessed with a great cast of familiar supporting players. Mona Barrie plays Sadie, the gambling lady, and Christine McIntyre plays Mary the good heroine who gets to sing a couple of songs. Roy Barcroft who was just coming into his own, has the honor of being the last villain that Jones ever gunned down. Others in Woods' gang include Robert Frazer, Bud Osborne, I. Stanford Jolley and Dennis Moore. Robert Lowery and Tris Coffin appear in other roles.
Rex Bell was more famous for being married to silent film "It" girl Clara Bow. Except for a couple of insignificant minor parts, this would also be his final film. Bell would go on to become the Lieutenant-Governor of Nevada in the late 50s.
I have to admit that I had a lump in my throat as I watched old favorite Buck Jones ride off into the sunset for the last time.