The Painted Desert - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Painted Desert Reviews

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½ January 12, 2016
The Painted Desert (1931)

Two wondering cowpokes, Cash Holbrook (William Farnum) and Jeff Cameron (J. Farrell MacDonald) ride up on an abandoned wagon, the victim of an indian attack. Nobody is alive except for a baby. The two quickly come to the little fellow's rescue, but it doesn't take long before they're arguing over what to name him and where they should settle down. Guns are even drawn and Cash leaves in a huff with the baby.

These two become bitter rivals years later when young Bill Holbrook (William Boyd) and Jeff's daughter, Mary Ellen Cameron (Helen Twelvetrees) become adults. Cash sneaks his cattle onto Jeff's land to drink from his water and a gun battle almost ensues.

This is where a wondering stranger rides onto the property, Rance Brett (Clark Gable) who offers to be an extra gun for Jeff and Mary Ellen.

Meanwhile, Bill see's the ridiculousness of this feud. Bill has been trying to talk Cash into making peace with Jeff. He's spotted some ore deposits on Jeff's land and feels that together they could make a huge profit working together, while fighting each other, everyone looses.

This is an old western with old stage and silent era acting styles that come off more funny to watch with today's eyes. This is one of Clark Gable's first talkies, and you know he's the heavy in this movie and frankly is the most three dimensional character in the whole film. You know Gable has a big future ahead of him and he is the reason for watching this.

William Boyd, who later is known for TV's Hopalong Cassidy is your typical stiff blond hero in all this.
½ November 16, 2015
ok B western & early career Clark Gable b4 the moustache
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2015
If Gable wasn't in this in a supporting role it would be forgotten which is what this stiff oater deserves. Only Gable seems at all natural, he exudes star quality everybody else suggests trees.
March 14, 2011
** (out of four)

Mostly notable for a small early screen appearance by Clark Gable. You can see star quality all over him, but the rest of the film is dull and uneventful.

In a emigrants camp, two friends find a baby boy alive. The place is deserted so they take the child to raise it, but they fight over who should be the primary father. The arguing goes on for years.
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