Wild Brian Kent (November 6, 1936)
Released on November 6, 1936: Spoiled rich man Brian Kent needs to grow up, and ranch girl Betty Prentice needs help saving the ranch, and both get just what they need and more when they meet.
Produced by Sol Lesser
Directed by Howard Bretherton
Written by Harold Bell Wright with screenplay by Earle Snell and James Gruen
The Actors: Ralph Bellamy (Brian Kent), Mae Clarke (Betty Prentice), Helen Lowell (Aunt Sue Prentice), Stanley Andrews (Tony Baxter), Richard Alexander (Phil Hansen, restaurant manager), Lew Kelly (Fullmer), Eddy Chandler (Jed, henchman), Jack Duffy (old time fireman), Howard C. Hickman (Bob Cruikshank), Horace B. Carpenter (warning rider), Lester Dorr (croupier), Herman Hack (Jed's henchman), Henry Hall (Sheriff and race announcer), Merrill McCormick (bearded man in grandstand), Gertrude Messinger (operator), Russell Simpson (race judge), Arthur Thalasso (man sent to buy drinks), Wally West (gambling patron)
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This adventure features leading man Ralph Bellamy, famous as the guy who never gets the gal, and Mae Clarke, the 'grapefruit in the face' girl, and in this one, Bellamy does indeed get the girl. We begin on a train headed for the west coast with four members of the polo club playing bridge all night instead of sleeping. Bellamy is Brian Kent, son of wealth that has the reputation of being a spendthrift, no good spoiled man who never did a productive thing in his life. At the end of the game Kent owes two of the men $300 each, and he glibly gives them an I.O.U. for the money. The fellows would trade the $300 note for three dollars cash, but of course our playboy doesn't have any cash. His partner, an older fellow named Cruikshank takes the I.O.U.'s for Kent and pays them off. But when they are alone, Cruikshank makes Kent resign from the Polo Club and gives him a good bawling out for his devil-may-care lifestyle. Kent replies that for two bits he'd get off the train at the next stop and leave his 'friends' forever. Next Cruikshank tosses a quarter on the table in front of him (a quarter is 'two bits'), and Kent does indeed get off the train in the middle of nowhere, near a small town in Kansas.
Now in this small Kansas town we meet Aunt Sue, and Betty, who own a cattle ranch, but are in desperate trouble because they do not have the funds to get their cattle to market and earn the money to save the ranch. We also meet dastardly Tony Baxter, a local businessman who is buying up all of the land around town, and has been trying to buy Aunt Sue's ranch without success. Her ranch has access to some of the finest water in the area, but Aunt Sue refuses to sell to him at the small price that he wants to pay. So Tony will do any nasty thing that he can to get that ranch, and for a while Kent unwittingly helps him get his hands on the mortgage. All looks lost for Aunt Sue and Betty as Tony unleashes dirty trick after dirty trick, and Kent has only his wits to help, without any access to what is left of his inheritance. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn covered with warm melted butter and enjoy a down on the farm good tale about a man who grows up good and proper when he is faced with keeping nasty Tony from getting Aunt Sue's ranch, and tries to show Betty that his reputation as a loser is behind him.