After dragging myself out of bed on a rainy Monday morning, I had to put my planned yard work on hold and find something to do for a bit while the weather cleared up. I grabbed myself a cup of coffee and lit up a cigar before deciding on watching the fifth of six movies in my John Wayne Collection DVD set. The feature film this morning was Desert Trail starring a young John Wayne. The movie was released in 1935 and runs 54 minutes in length.
This Movie starts off with John Scott (John Wayne) and Kansas Charlie playing cards in a stage coach talking about getting thrown out of the last town. Talking about why they were thrown out, Kansas Charlie is accused to laying things on too thick with the ladies and causing trouble. Charlie vows to be deaf and dumb from then on out when it comes to woman.
The stage stops and a woman boards. To get a rise out of Charlie, John begins flirting with the woman and putting down his deaf and dumb friend sitting across from them. Charlie bursts out and stands up for himself, hitting on the woman and putting down John. During the conversation the woman asks if Kansas Charlie (wearing a black suite) is a rodeo man. Everyone laughs and discussion of the towns rodeo begins.
After winning $900.00 in the rodeo, John discovers that the payout its twenty-five cents on the dollar due to the low income of the show. John pulls a gun on the rodeo manager and instructs Kansas Charlie to take the $900.00, that he rightfully won, out of the safe. When the two leave on horseback, two robbers enter and kill the manager. When the shot is heard, the sheriff races to the scene and the two robbers frame John and Kansas Charlie for the murder.
As the movie continues, John and Kansas Charlie are robbed of their rodeo winnings and decide to track down the robbers in a neighboring town. With the sheriff of this town becoming suspicious of all of the new strangers in town, John and Kansas Charlie are eventually accused of the murder in the next town and arrested.
One of the robbers gets a guilty conscience and helps bust the men out of prison. As they try to leave town, the sheriff discovers them and a shootout ensues. In the commotion one of the robbers holds up a bank and makes a break for it. John and Kansas Charlie chase the robber down and try to make him confess to the killing. After a confession is made, John and Kansas Charlie and cleared and the movie ends happily ever after.
While these “B Westerns” don’t have the storyline as some of the more popular John Wayne movies, I’m becoming fond of them. I like that I can sit down and watch a movie in its entirety in a little less than an hour and see the actors before they made it big.
In Desert Trail, the storyline was easy to follow and there was a nice plot twist along the way to keep things interesting. The quality of the film is very poor by todays standard, but its definitely worth watching if you are a fan of old westerns.