Desert Justice (1936)
This interesting low-budget Western was advertized as "A lightning trigger action drama of the glorious west .. packed with thrills and colorful adventure!" If it didn't quite live up to the hyperbole, Desert Justice nevertheless managed to surprise its mostly juvenile audience, especially by killing off one of the comic relief characters, Fred "Snowflake" Toones, in the very first reel. Toones' death during a bank robbery is just one of many surprises in a story that deftly combined the gangster film with traditional Western clichés. Former silent star Jack Perrin played Jack Franklin, a city patrolman who discovers that his kid brother (David Sharpe) has escaped reform school to hook up with a gang of bank robbers. Following the killing of a bank porter, the gang hides out in Jack's desert cabin. Jack arrives just in time to see kid brother Dave being mortally wounded in a gunfight. On his horse Starlight, Jack rides hell for leather to fetch a doctor but he is too late and Dave dies in his arms. With the assistance of a police buddy (Warren Hymer), the police commissioners daughter (Maryan Dowling), and the latter's dog Braveheart, an embittered Jack is finally able to brings his brother's killers to justice. Desert Justice was co-produced by its director, William Berke (who billed himself "Lester Williams" for the occasion) and Perrin himself. … More
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