Sagebrush Trail (December 15, 1933)
Released on December 15, 1933: (running time 53 minutes) John Wayne is John Brant, in prison for murder, but he escapes and searches for the real killer among a band of outlaws.
Produced by Paul Malvern and Trem Carr
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, hideout guard)
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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 as the outlaw boss.
Yakima Canutt and John Wayne were best friends and Wayne included Canutt in most 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 Yakima 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 enjoy the show.
Bob Burns and Hal Taliaferro
Bob Burns as Sheriff Parker in Sagebrush Trail
Henry Hall in Sagebrush Trail
Lane Chandler and John Wayne
Lane Chandler and Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt and Lane Chandler