The Law of Contact

The Light of Western Stars (April 17, 1940)

Alan Ladd and Noah Beery Jr. in The Light of Western Stars

Released on April 17, 1940: A wealthy girl from Boston goes west to stop her brother from marrying the wrong girl, and finds her own mate in the process.

Directed by Lesley Selander.

The Actors: Victor Jory (Gene Stewart), Jo Ann Sayers (Madeline 'Majesty' Hammond), Alan Ladd (Danny, a Stillwell ranch hand), Noah Beery Jr. (Poco, Stewart's sidekick), Russell Hayden (Alfred 'Al' Hammond), Morris Ankrum (Nat Hayworth), J. Farrell MacDonald (Bill Stillwell, rancher), Ruth Rogers (Florence Kingsley, Al's girlfriend), Tom Tyler (Sheriff Tom Hawes), Rad Robinson (Monty, a Stillwell ranch hand), Eddie Dean (Nels, a Stillwell ranch hand), Esther Estrella (Bonita, Adobe Saloon girl), Georgia Ellis (Helen, Majesty's Boston pal), Earl Askam (Sneed, Hawes' deputy), Lucio Villegas (Justice of the Peace, Don Manuel), Ted Billings (saloon waiter), Roy Bucko (henchman), Bob Burns (informer), Jim Corey (ranch hand), Dick Dickinson (barfly), Merrill McCormick (Eddie, the Adobe Saloon dealer), Lee Phelps (the train conductor).


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Gene Stewart is a cowboy that likes to drink too much, brag too much, and talk too much. He is foreman of the Stillman ranch. Madeline Hammond is a beautiful wealthy lady from Boston who runs out to the wild west to stop her brother from marrying a lady that she thinks is only after his money. Young Alan Ladd is her brother, who doesn't care about the family money, only his love for his lady. Noah Beery Jr. plays Poco, a Mexican side-kick to our hero Gene, but I swear I still expect to see James Garner from 'The Rockford Files' to walk up to him and say, 'Hi Dad.' Al Hammond is the bad guy that 'owns' the town, pays off the sheriff, and smuggles guns to the Mexicans that are rebelling against their government.

This is a Zane Grey story, so the characters are much more fully developed than your average cowboy movie. Grab you wife, girlfriend, or the girl next door and have her watch this one with you. There is not only lots of alpha-male testosterone filled fights, gunplay and man-to-man action for you guys, there is great interplay and dialogue and girls chasing and competing for their men in this one to keep your lady interested. Also, in this movie, from 1940, you will hear the saying that I use often, and even became part of a hit song, "Only the Good Die Young." - of course, when I quote it, I finish it with, "Only the Good Die Young, so I just might Live Forever!"