Monday, September 8, 2014

Movie Review: ***The Trail Beyond (John Wayne, 1934)

John Wayne, This John Wayne Western has a different twist.  It starts with Rod (Wayne) headed to Canada to find the long lost niece of his friend.  He is also going to see what happened to his friend’s brother who  disappeared some years before. 
On the train he meets an old college buddy, Wabi (Noah Beery Jr.)  His buddy is involved in a poker game that goes bad.  One of the players is shot, and the other two blame him.  He assumes the player shot has been murdered.  Wayne comes and helps him escape from the other two, and they  jump from the train into the river; but just like that they are fugitives.
They still head north, and discover the friend’s brother, dead in a cabin with his partner in a gold mine.  They find the map to the mine.  Now they are not only looking for a girl, but also gold.
They make it to the north, Where Robbie grew up, and meet a young woman (Verna Hillie) who works there.  Robbie has a thing for her.  However in the conflict between trading posts, this young woman is kidnapped, hoping she will give them the combination to the safe where Rod stored his map to the mine. 
This movie has something different—a canoe chase.  It was really quite exciting.  And when the Canadian Mountie shows up to arrest our protagonists, he is shot and almost goes over the waterfall.
There is a big battle with much conflict and shooting between one trading post, and the neighboring community who come to save the day. 
I didn’t like the abrupt ending.  Rod discovers the girl at the trading post is who he was looking for, but his friend withheld this information because he was hoping to keep her around.  He had a sense she would leave him.
This movie leaves some danglers at the end which I did not like.  It ended very abruptly like they had a time limit and were almost over their time.  However I can see why John Wayne and Western movie are so popular.  They are very exciting. 

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