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The Devil Horse

USA 1932
produced by
Nat Levine for Mascot
directed by Otto Brower
starring Harry Carey, Noah Beery, Frankie Darro, Grety Granstedt, Barrie O'Daniels, Edward Peil sr, Jack Mower, Al Bridge, Jack Byron, J. Paul Jones, Carli Russell (= Carl R. Botefuhr), Lew Kelly, Yakima Canutt, Lane Chandler, Dick Dickinson, Wilfred Lucas, Al Taylor, Robert Walker, Ken Cooper, William Desmond, Fred Burns, Henry Hall, Gordon De Main, Victor Adamson, Jack A. Goodrich, Charles Schaeffer, Wes Warner
written by George Morgan, Barney Sarecky, George H. Plympton, Wyndham Gittens, supervising editor: Wyndham Gittens, music by Lee Zahler

serial

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Years ago, outlaws Boyd (J.Paul Jones) and Canfield (Noah Beery) robbed and killed a farmer (Lew Kelly), who only just managed to save his son (Carl R.Botefuhr) from being killed by them as well. Shocked by his father's death, the boy lost his mind and from here on grew up in the wilderness, with the wild horses being his closest firends.

Now: Boyd and Canfield are highly respected citizens, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still evil as can be. One night, they try to steal El Diablo, the most valuable racehorse there is, but somehow the horse escapes them and they have to kill a ranger to save their own hides - and the Wild Boy (now played by Frankie Darro) sees it all.

When ranger Roberts (Harry Carey) hears about the dead ranger who incidetly was his brother, he swears to track down the men who did this and goes undercover, though at the beginning he has very little to go on. Soon he figures the Wild Boy, who has since become best friends with El Diablo, has something to do with the mystery, bzut the problem is the Wild Boy cannot talk ...

Much to and fro occurs, including the customary chases, fights, shoot-outs, false leads, Ropberts himself being suspected of murder, the Wild Boy finding his voice and memory again, and the like. Ultimately, Boyd and Canfield can be identified as the killers of Roberts' brother, and the Wild Boy can even identify him as teh killers of his father, but especially Canfield will not go down without a fight - but of course it's Roberts who stops Canfield's escape cold in the end, and when he also promises to take care of the Wild Boy from now on, the day is saved.

 

A very typical and quite entertaining Mascot serial, basically a Western, but - as was the case with many contemporary Mascot Western serials - featuring many elements not native to the genre like the extended mystery and the wilf boy subplot. Maybe the story doesn't always fall as well together as it should, but (again as with most Mascot serials) the emphasis is on action and in that respect Devil Horse doesn't fail to deliver - even if it does lack any particularly great setpieces. Also, veteran Harry Carey makes a better than usual serial hero, and Noah Beery and J.Paul Jones are a great couple of villains.

Quite enjoyable.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD