28 July 2011 | dougdoepke
Bad guy Dan Long (Mason) tries to trick old man Garth (Chatterton) and his boy (Blake) out of their land that they've turned into a game preserve. Hale helps expose the ruse and wins the affection of Garth's niece (Booth).
Rather easy-going Western with a positive message, and surprisingly not much gunplay or hard riding. Hale is a pleasant enough cowboy lead if not much of an actor, even by matinée standards. In fact, except for Booth and Blake, the acting doesn't get much beyond delivering the lines. On the other hand, the strong conservation message about preserving wildlife seems strikingly relevant for contemporary audiences. Dragging the poor calves on screen to their bearbait doom, however, did strike me as questionable for a young audience. The early Technicolor process holds up pretty well, and even if the locations never get out of greater LA, they are well chosen. At the same time, staging much of the story lakeside is rather unusual for a matinée oater. All in all, a pleasant little diversion with a worthy message.