The Law of Contact

Outlaw's Paradise (April 4, 1939)

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Tim McCoy in Outlaw's Paradise

Released on April 19, 1939: Good guy Captain William Carson notices that he looks just like outlaw Trigger Mallory, and takes his place in the gang to try to capture them, but the tables are turned when Trigger gets out of jail and exposes Carson's deception.

Directed by Sam Newfield

The Actors: Tim McCoy (Captain William Carson and Trigger Mallory), Joan Barclay (Jessie Treadwell), Ben Corbett (Magpie McGillicutty), Ted Adams (Slim Marsh), Forrest Taylor (henchman Eddie), Bob Terry (henchman Steve), Donald Gallaher (henchman Mort), Dave O'Brien (henchman Meggs), Jack Mulhall (prison warden), Ed Cassidy (banker), Jack 'Tiny' Lipson (Toby, saloon owner), Carl Mathews (henchman), George Morrell (townsman), Jack C. Smith (cellblock guard), Frank Wayne (FBI Agent Dickson), Wally West (bank teller), Lloyd Whitlock (reporter).


The Law of Contact

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For most old movies, I suggest that you pop yourself a big bowl of hot buttered popcorn before you sit down to watch the movie, but for this one, I have a different suggestion. This is a cowboy western full of 'real men' - alpha males that are all rough and tough and facing each other with dirty looks all through the movie. No, men, don't pop a bowl of popcorn for yourself before you watch this . . . stand tall, stick out your chest, raise your voice to a commanding level and order your best gal to make your popcorn and then sit down and be quiet, because you are going to watch a real man's movie, about real men, just like you.

Our movie takes place in 1939 in the old west. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was created in 1908 as the 'Bureau of Investigation', but it wasn't until 1935, just four years before our movie, that it was re-named the "F.B.I." with J. Edgar Hoover at the helm. It got an increasingly high profile by 1939, and this movie incorporates an F.B.I. investigator as the main hero of this cowboy outlaw thriller. They also employ a relatively new special effects method - having one actor play two parts and even be seen as both characters in the same frame, using a split frame technique.

The plot is a familiar one, with exciting shootouts, chases on fast horseback, and mano-a-mano bravado between our FBI agent/cowboy and his exact double outlaw leader and his gang. Outlaw Trigger Malloy is about to get out of prison to rejoin his gang. But when FBI man Captain William Carson notices that the outlaw looks remarkably like himself, he hatches a plan to take his place and infiltrate the gang and arrange for their capture, and the recovery of some stolen bonds. So the warden keeps Trigger Malloy locked up while Carson goes to the gang and infiltrates them, and although they are suspicious of him, they accept him as their leader, and even his old girlfriend Jessie takes him back whole heartedly. But there is trouble afoot . . . Trigger Malloy escapes from jail and makes his way back to the hideout, and after exposing the fake outlaw, take him prisoner and plan to end his life. Looks like FBI man Carson won't be able to squeeze out of this tight spot . . . or will he?