Blue Steel (May 10, 1934)

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John Wayne and Eleanor Hunt in Blue Steel
 

Released on May 10, 1934: John Wayne, as Marshal John Carruthers, goes undercover to round up the polka dot bandit and his gang, and save the young girl from outlaw Malgrove.

Directed by Robert N. Bradbury

The Actors: John Wayne (John Carruthers), Eleanor Hunt (Bety Mason), George 'Gabby' Hayes (Sheriff Jake), Edward Peil Sr. (Malgrove), Yakima Canutt (Danti, the polka-dot bandit), Lafe McKee (Dan Mason), George Cleveland (innkeeper Hank), Earl Dwire (henchman), Chris Allen (townsman), Silver Tip Baker (townsman), Barney Beasley (townsman), Hank Bell (stage driver with payroll), Ralph Bucko (townsman), Horace B. Carpenter (townsman), Lane Chandler (unknown), Jack Evans (townsman), Herman Hack (henchman), Henry Hall (unknown), Theodore Lorch (townsman), Bud McClure (townsman), Art Mix (unknown), Perry Murdock (henchman), George Nash (bridegroom), Herman Nowlin (townsman), Artie Ortego (henchman), Tex Phelps (henchman).

 
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John Wayne Classic

This is one of the movies that made John Wayne a legend in Hollywood. There were several cowboy heroes in the golden years of the 1930's and 1940's, but none had the screen presence and acting style that John Wayne had. In this fast paced adventure Wayne is John Carruthers, a mysterious stranger who is mistaken for the dastardly polka-dot bandit by the local Sheriff, played by veteran cowboy character actor George 'Gabby' Hayes. It was a dark and stormy night as our story opens, and we watch John Wayne quietly enter the local inn and tip toe past the sleeping innkeeper, played by George Cleveland. Wayne sneaks into a closet and settles in for a night of spying on the lobby. Next local Sheriff Jake, played by Gabby Hayes, enters and wakes up the sleeping innkeeper, telling him that he is on the trail of the notorious polka-dot bandit and needs a room for the night. The innkeeper tells him that if he spends the night in his room above the lobby he can peek through a knot-hole in a floor board and keep an eye on the lobby. Next a stage arrives and a lady and a newlywed couple comes in for a room. Finally the stage driver brings in a bag full of payroll money for the innkeeper to put in the safe. The polka-dot bandit is peeking through the window as the innkeeper opens the safe and now knows the combination so he can rob the safe. Then something very unusual for a 1930's cowboy movie happens. We watch a deliberate sexual reference that the kiddies won't understand . . . but both John Wayne and George Cleveland the innkeeper give us a knowing smile. The young bride groom comes down the steps and with a puzzled look on his face tells the innkeeper that he can't find it. When the innkeeper asks what it is that he cannot find, the bridegroom blushes and with an embarrassed smile starts to stutter something as the innkeeper goes back upstairs with the young man, ready to give him a lesson in love. But quickly we return to the business of cowboys and bandits as the polka-dot bandit, played by one of John Wayne's real life best friends, Yakima Canutt, enters the lobby and opens the safe, taking the payroll money with him. John Wayne wakes up just in time to watch the bandit leave the hotel with the money. He jumps out of his closet and goes over to the empty safe just as the Sheriff upstairs peeks through the knot hole in the floor, spotting John Wayne at the empty safe. Wayne takes off after the bandit, and the Sheriff is determined to find John Wayne and stick with him long enough to discover the rest of the gang before arresting him as the polka dot bandit. And this is just the first scene! We will meet the obligatory pretty young girl that John Wayne will save, and eventually ride off into the sunset in classic cowboy style. We will meet the leader of the outlaw gang, who just happens to be the town's leading citizen. We will have a better than usual climax chase scene with bullets flying and dynamite exploding as Gabby Hayes and John Wayne bring the outlaws to justice. Pop a big bowl of white kernel, not yellow kernel, but white kernel popcorn and drizzle plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.

John Wayne as Marshal John Carruthers
John Wayne as Marshal John Carruthers
Earl Dwire and Edward Peil Sr.
Earl Dwire and Edward Peil Sr.
Earl Dwire in Blue Steel
Earl Dwire in Blue Steel
Edward Peil Sr. and Yakima Canutt
Edward Peil Sr. and Yakima Canutt
Edward Peil Sr. and Yakima Canutt aim at Carruthers and Jake
Edward Peil Sr. and Yakima Canutt aim at Carruthers and Jake
Edward Peil Sr. as rancher Malgrove in Blue Steel
Edward Peil Sr. as rancher Malgrove in Blue Steel
Eleanor Hunt and Edward Peil Sr.
Eleanor Hunt and Edward Peil Sr.
Eleanor Hunt is comforted by Edward Peil Sr
Eleanor Hunt is comforted by Edward Peil Sr
John Wayne discovers where Eleanor Hunt is being held prisoner
John Wayne discovers where Eleanor Hunt is being held prisoner
Eleanor Hunt and Lafe McKee in Blue Steel
Eleanor Hunt and Lafe McKee in Blue Steel
Eleanor Hunt as Betty Mason in Blue Steel
Eleanor Hunt as Betty Mason in Blue Steel
George Cleveland and George Nash
George Cleveland and George Nash
George Cleveland and Hank Bell
George Cleveland and Hank Bell
George Cleveland as the innkeeper in Blue Steel
George Cleveland as the innkeeper in Blue Steel
George 'Gabby' Hayes and George Cleveland
George 'Gabby' Hayes and George Cleveland
Gabby Hayes and John Wayne at gunpoint
Gabby Hayes and John Wayne at gunpoint
Yakima Canutt, as the polka dot bandit, robs the hotel safe
Yakima Canutt, as the polka dot bandit, robs the hotel safe
George 'Gabby' Hayes as Sheriff Jake in Blue Steel
George 'Gabby' Hayes as Sheriff Jake in Blue Steel
George Nash with his young bride check into the hotel
George Nash with his young bride check into the hotel
John Wayne sneaks past a sleeping George Cleveland
John Wayne sneaks past a sleeping George Cleveland
Yakima Canutt and Edward Peil Sr.
Yakima Canutt and Edward Peil Sr.