Sagebrush Trail (December 15, 1933)
Released on December 15, 1933: John Wayne, in prison for murder, escapes and searches for the real killer among a band of outlaws.
Directed by Armand Schaefer
Written by Lindsley Parsons and Will Beale.
The Actors: John Wayne (John Brant), Nancy Shubert (Sally Blake), Lane Chandler (Joseph Conlon, alias Bob Jones), Yakima Canutt (Ed Walsh), Henry Hall (Dad Blake), Hal Taliaferro (Deputy Sheriff), Art Mix (henchman), Bob Burns (Sheriff Parker), Ted Adams (Taggart), Silver Tip Baker (townsman), Hank Bell (henchman), William Dyer (blind Pete), Wally Howe (store customer), Julie Kingdon (town girl), Tex Palmer (posse rider), Tex Phelps (henchman), Hal Price (Bud, train engineer), Archie Ricks (stage driver), Robert Walker (henchman), Blackjack Ward (henchman), Slim Whitaker (henchman Dick).
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For sheer excitement and adventure in the old west, it doesn't get much better than this early John Wayne adventure. A good cowboy movie must have a pretty girl that a couple of the guys are fighting over, a bad guy, and a good guy. This one is a bit different though, and for my money it is a very good 'different.' The bad guy turns out to be not so bad, and the good guy, John Wayne of course, is not only good, he's good underwater and has a light sense of humor in his personality that also can be seen in the bad guy, a rarity in cowboy westerns. Usually there is a somewhat wit-less side-kick who provides the comedy relief, but in this adventure John Wayne and bad guy Lane Chandler handle the smiles as well as the tension. There is some pretty good script writing in this one, and we also get to see Yakima Canutt in a small part as the outlaw boss Ed Walsh. Yakima and John Wayne were best friends and Wayne included Canutt in many of his movies. Yakima Canutt is also famous as the director that you didn't know about. In the legendary movie Ben Hur, the most famous scene is the chariot race with Charlton Heston. Although William Wyler is credited as the director of the movie, Yakima Canutt was a second unit director and it was him that set up and directed that famous scene, regarded as one of the best wide-screen scenes ever put on film.
Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled on top and get ready for an outstanding western adventure with better than usual stunts by legendary actor John Wayne from 1933.
John Wayne in Sagebrush Trail
Bob Burns and Hal Taliaferro
Bob Burns as Sheriff Parker in Sagebrush Trail
Henry Hall in Sagebrush Trail
John Wayne swims underwater using a reed to breath as he tries to escape the Sheriff in Sagebrush Trail
John Wayne pours a cup of hot coffee for Lane Chandler at the outlaw hideout
Lane Chandler and Yakima Canutt try to figure out who robbed the stage coach before they had a chance to rob it
Lane Chandler and Yakima Canutt at the outlaw hideout
Lane Chandler gives his death bed confession to the Sheriff as he lay in John Wayne's arms
Lane Chandler in Sagebrush Trail
Lane Chandler threatens Nance Shubert before she tells him that John Wayne is on the hook for a murder that Chandler's character committed
Nancy Shubert in Sagebrush Trail
Nancy Shubert doesn't trust the Sheriff and must get word to John Wayne
John Wayne sees the Sheriff in the general store who is looking for him
William Dyer as blind Pete and Lane Chandler as Bob Jones in Sagebrush Trail
Yakima Canutt and Lane Chandler in Sagebrush Trail