The Man from Utah Reviews
One of the many, many two-reel westerns Robert N. Bradbury directed for Lone Star Pictures featuring a young John Wayne, a young Yakima Canutt, and Gabby Hayes, who was never young. I've watched quite a few of these over the past few years, and I often refrain from reviewing them (I review all features, but very few shorts, and my personal line for that division is sixty minutes), but this one being of average quality, I figured I'd use it as an indicator for much of the batch (and for the pictures Wayne and various other members of this band of merry men were also making for Republic Pictures at the same time).
The plot is pretty generic, as far as John Wayne Lone Star westerns are concerned: Wayne plays John Weston, a rodeo star sent underocver by the U. S. Marshals (bet you can't guess what state he's from!) to investigate corruption in the annual rodeo in a small Arizona town. Seems every time someone from out of town looks like they're about to win the top prize, they end up dead, and the Marshals want to know why. Things get more complex when a pair of outlaws rob the safe containing the prize money, and Weston, having discovered the crime, is walked in on and immediately assumed to be the thief.
Nothing here out of the ordinary-Wayne gets a chance to show off some of his trick riding skills (though obvious body doubles are used for some shots for both Wayne and Canutt), the criminals are dunderheads, the good guy wins in the end. If you're a fan of the genre, this will work for you. If you're not, it won't. Simple. **