The Law of Contact

Law Men (April 25, 1944)

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Law Men
 

Released on April 25, 1944: Two U.S. Marshalls are sent to a small town to find and capture an outlaw gang.

Directed by Lambert Hillyer

The Actors: Johnny Mack Brown (U.S. Marshal 'Nevada' Jack McKenzie), Raymond Hatton (U.S. Marshal 'Sandy' Hopkins), Jan Wiley (Phyliss), Kirby Grant (Clyde Miller), Robert Frazer (banker Bradford), Edmund Cobb (Slade), Art Fowler (Gus, chief henchman), Hal Price ('Pop' Haynes), Marshall Reed (henchman Killifer), Isabel Withers (Auntie Mack), Ben Corbett (henchman Simmons), Ted Mapes (Curly Balou, stage driver), Steve Clark (henchman Hardy), Bud Osborne (henchman Wilson), Victor Adamson (henchman), Rube Dalroy (townsman), Dick Dickinson (Slim, man with boots), Jack Evans (townsman), Ted French (henchman), Ray Jones (townsman), George Morrell (townsman), Artie Ortego (barfly), Jack Rockwell (the gunned down Sheriff), Bob Woodward (gambler).

 

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It was 1973 when I decided that I wasn't going to be a country preacher like Dad, and I had just married a Greek girl from Campbell, Ohio. We moved in with her family until I could find a job, and I was soon working in the U.S. Steel rolling mills plant in nearby McDonald, Ohio, earning what to me was a ton of money. I started in the 'Construction Labor' gang, which was just a bunch of guys with strong backs. We did the grunt work all around the plant when needed and called on. We dug ditches, patched the asphalt roads inside the mill, drove trucks and fork lifts, and any other task that needed done. After a while I became permanently attached to the brick layers as a brick layer helper, where I learned to mix concrete by hand, prepare and help lay hard wood 'brick' flooring in the areas that supported heavy loads, and repair the brick lining of the hot rolling mill furnaces. The mills took huge bars of steel that had been made in the blast furnaces of the nearby downtown Youngstown U.S. Steel plant and re-heated the ingots in large furnaces until they were red hot. Then they were pushed out of the furnace and onto a long line of rollers that squeezed them little by little into thin ribbons of steel that were finally shaped into wheel rims, or rebar, or large coils of thinner steel to be sent to other plants to be finished off into their final products. It was all new and exciting and adventurous to a boy from farm country, and I loved learning how everything worked. But what brought this to mind while I was watching this cowboy adventure was a scene with one of the U.S. Marshals and the lady that he roomed with. One day at the steel mill I banged one of my fingers pretty good with something, I don't remember what. But the result was that my fingernail turned black, and that finger quickly swelled up to at least twice the size it should have been. In those days steel men were tough, and going to a doctor was never even considered, even though there was a small dispensary at the mill with a nurse that would handle such things. I just kept on working until quitting time. Jimmy, one of the brick layers, told me what I should do with that finger when I got home. He told me to ask my wife for her largest sewing needle and heat the tip of it over the flame of a burner on the stove until it was real hot. Once it was good and hot, I should push it through the middle of my blackened finger nail to create a good sized hole in the nail. That would allow the dark blood that was swelling up under the nail to escape, relieving the swelling, and allowing the finger to heal faster. Well, this was all new to me, but I did it and it worked pretty well.

In this adventure one of the U.S. Marshals is undercover as a cobbler, and when he goes to the boarding house he is staying at with a swollen finger that he hit with his hammer, the landlady straight away tells someone to go get a big needle. I knew exactly what she was going to do with that needle. When the Marshal asks her if she knows what she is doing, she quickly and loudly proclaims that she does know her stuff - that she nursed two husbands to their graves with her loving care! You won't hear any cowboy singing in this adventure as you munch your hot, buttered white kernel popcorn, but the guns will be blazing as the outlaws once again prove to be no match for this pair of U.S. Marshals.

Edmund Cobb
Edmund Cobb
Edmund Cobb
Edmund Cobb
Edmund Cobb and Robert Frazer
Edmund Cobb and Robert Frazer
Hal Price and Raymond Hatton
Edmund Cobb
Jan Wiley
Jan Wiley
Johnny Mack Brown
Johnny Mack Brown
Kirby Grant
Kirby Grant
Raymond Hatton
Raymond Hatton
Ray Hatton, Dick Dickinson and Hal Price
Ray Hatton, Dick Dickinson and Hal Price
Ray Hatton
Raymond Hatton, 1944
Robert Frazer
Robert Frazer