For Reel


Beyond the Rockies (1932)
October 14, 2014, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Fred Allen
3 Stars
Beyond the RockiesBefore the first reel of Beyond the Rockies is finished, audiences are treated to a song, an attempted stagecoach robbery, and a shootout between two gangs of outlaws. In this charming B-western, Tom Keene plays an undercover deputy who is tasked with bringing down the notorious cattle rustler Ruby Sherman (Marie Wells). The luminous Rochelle Hudson plays the love interest this time, with the charismatic Julian Rivero giving comedic support. Director Fred Allen is good at interjecting comedy into the familiar genre staples (a gag involving a slot machine occurs during the dependable bar brawl), however he can’t make much of the climactic cattle rustle due to the budget-prescribed reliance on stock footage. Wells is an intriguingly cast villain, but ultimately she’s underutilized–the character doesn’t even get her comeuppance onscreen!



Freighters of Destiny (1931)
October 14, 2014, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Fred Allen
2.5 Stars
Freighters of DestinyTom Keene, though largely forgotten today, enjoyed some success as a star of B-westerns at RKO in the early 1930s. His fourth effort sees him inherit a freighter franchise when his father is murdered by outlaws working the opportunistic Randolph Carter (Mitchell Harris), a local banker. The fun-loving Steve Macey (Keene) must reveal Carter to be crooked before the merchants fail to renew the Macey contract in town. As with many westerns, the film was made very cheaply–it was clearly made fast, with continuity errors aplenty (day becomes night and vice versa with regularity) and poor dubbing. Despite the inferior quality of the production, the action sequences are fairly exciting, especially a chase sequence in which Macey skillfully utilizes rocky terrain in order to misdirect his pursuers.