24 May 2003 | rsoonsa
Two Individualists Again Do Battle Against Iniquity.
By the time this skillfully made six reel western was released, Johnny Mack Brown, as Jack "Nevada" McKenzie, and Raymond Hatton, as his sidekick Sandy Hopkins, had established a pedigree as the most often filmed set of partners (eventually 45 titles) in cinematic cowpoke history and here the two, as undercover U.S. Marshals, employ their customary system of splitting up in order to better assay the capabilities of their criminal rivals. As they arrive at the troubled town to which they have been assigned, a bank robbery is in progress, after which event Sandy takes up the tools of a recently deceased cobbler in order to gather rumours and other intelligence of the bandits, while Nevada, with Brown's characteristic shrewdness, aggressively infiltrates the gang, as the partners' activities dovetail toward an exciting conclusion. LAW MEN is directed by Lambert Hillyer, whose smooth ability at all types of action fare avoids the temporally parochial badge worn by some "B" western helmsmen, is photographed in atmospheric fashion by undervalued Harry Neumann, while Glenn Tryon's script largely avoids the hackneyed, and capable character actors Edmund Cobb and Robert Frazer are present in key roles, with the dialogue between the two leads full of happily easy conceits.