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The Lucky Texan
Gold Strike River

USA 1934
produced by
Paul Malvern for Monogram Pictures (Lone Star)
directed by Robert N. Bradbury
starring John Wayne, Barbara Sheldon, Lloyd Whitlock, George Hayes (= Gabby Hayes), Yakima Canutt, Eddie Parker, Gordon De Main, Earl Dwire, Phil Dunham, Artie Ortego, Wally Wales (= Hal Taliaferro)
written by Robert N. Bradbury, cinematography by Archie Stout

John Wayne at Monogram (Lone Star)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mason (John Wayne) and Benson (Gabby Hayes) have struck a rich goldmine, but to keep its whereabouts a secret, they don't even settle a claim on it until they have properly exploited it - much to the dismay of locl assayers Harris (Lloyd Whitlock) and Cole (Yakima Canutt), who already had their hands in stealing Benson's cattle when he was still a farmer and who want to get their hands on his farm as well ... so they make up plans to trick him out of everything.

More of that later though, first Benson is accused of attempting to kill the local banker, a crime that was really committed by Al (Eddie Parker), son of the local Sheriff (Earl Dwire), and it's only thanks to Mason, who first beats a confession out of Al then hunts him down (riding on a log through athe sewers like a witch on a broomstick) when he tries to escape and brings him to justice, that Benson is ultimately found innocent.

Then though, Harris and Cole shoot Benson out in the desert and leave him for dead, but not only that, they also try to pin the crime on Mason. What they however don't know is that Benson hasn't died at all and has come back to his farm - and now that Mason has his preliminary hearing, Benson turns up, disguised as a woman, and ultimately reveals Harris and Cole to be the real culprits.

It all amounts to a chase by horse, Ford T model and train utility car, at the end of which the baddies can be brought to justice.

Barbara Sheldon plays Benson's granddaughter and Mason's love interest, but she has little to do other than looking pretty and marry her sweetheart in the end ...

 

The Monogram Westerns John Wayne did with Robert N.Bradbury are all pretty good, and this is without a doubt one of their best: Though the budget was only slim and the plot was tried-and-true, Bradbury pulled no stops at making this one as original and inventive as possible, inserting comedy (like Yakima Canutt chasing a donkey or Gabby Hayes in drag) and chase scenes that are not only top notch, they also transgress genre limitations and make this film not just another production line Western but a movie that manages to stand on its own (even if it's to this day vastly underappreciated).

Highly recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD