The Law of Contact

Diamond Trail (April 23, 1933)

The Diamond Trail

Released on April 23, 1933: Speed Morgan, a brash and brave newspaper reporter poses as a gangster to help expose the gang of diamond racketeers.

Directed by Harry L. Fraser

The Actors: Rex Bell (Speed Morgan, posing as Frisco Eddie), Frances Rich (Lois Miller), Lloyd Whitlock ('Flash' Barrett), Bud Osborne (Bill Miller), Norman Feusier (Editor Harry Jones), Jerome Storm (Muggs, Barrett henchman), John Webb Dillon (Detective Mac), Billy West (Lefty, henchman), Harry Lamont (Spike), Edward Burns (stable owner), Jack Evans (posse rider), Herman Hack (townsman), Gertrude Messinger (newspaper secretary), Arthur Millett (Sheriff), George Morrell (hotel clerk), Tex Palmer (posse rider), Tiny Sandford (Mullins' gunman).


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When I was a young teenager living in Meadville, Pennsylvania, I went on a road trip with a couple of older teen boys. I totally cannot remember where we went or why, but we stopped at a small roadside restaurant on the way, and these older fellows ordered a drink that I had never heard of, and refused to even taste when they got it. When they saw 'Fresh Buttermilk' on the menu they both got very excited and ordered a tall glass for each of them. I settled for a small Coca-Cola and watched with amazement as they gulped down their chilled buttermilk. At this point of my life I had still not learned to enjoy real dairy butter, opting instead for Oleo. So butter was repulsive to me, and to put butter with milk seemed even worse. I later learned to love real butter from enjoying movie theater popcorn. Today most theaters put an oily yellow grease on popcorn with no dairy product in it, but when I got introduced to movie theaters they put real melted butter on popcorn. Now, I grew up eating large amounts of popcorn most every night of the week, but I never put butter or any other topping on it. But this movie popcorn, with real melted butter on it was pretty good! And after I discovered white kernel corn, the process was complete. If Heaven has the best of everything, it will surely have plenty of white kernel popcorn with copious amounts of real melted dairy fresh butter drizzled on it. I still don't get into drinking fresh buttermilk, but I sure do like the butter! The hero in this movie drinks fresh buttermilk, which seems to be available in every bar in town.

In 1933 there were two kinds of movies that were usually guaranteed to be a big hit - cowboy western movies, and big city gangster movies. Now if a movie company could produce a big city racketeer movie where the gangsters went out west and rode horses, it just couldn't miss! So this movie is about big city gangsters who steal diamonds and quickly ship them west to get them out of the city. But when the partner out west double-crosses the racketeers, they head west to kill the double-crosser and get their diamonds back. Add a resourceful young newspaper reporter who infiltrates the gang and you have a story to keep you on the edge of your seat until the final horse riding, car full of gangsters scene.

Rex BellLloyd Whitlock and Rex Bell
Rex BellLloyd Whitlock and Rex Bell
Gertrude MessingerFrances Rich and Bud Osborne
Gertrude MessingerFrances Rich and Bud Osborne
Rex Bell and Lloyd Whitlock