Two brothers are separated when young. One becomes the pony express rider Clint Knox and the other the outlaw Ace Carter. Their next meeting finds Ace way-laying Clint as he delivers the mail.
During the gold rush days a wagon train is attacked by a gang of renegades. John Knox is killed and one of his young sons, Asa Knox, is kidnapped by the renegade leader. The other son, Clint, and his mother Martha escape and reach St. Joseph, Missouri. Clint grows up and becomes a crack rider for the Pony Express. The kidnapped brother, now known as Ace Carter, has been raised by the outlaws with a contempt for the law. He is an unsuccessful rival of Clint's for the Pony Express job, which fosters enmity between them. Ace holds up a stagecoach on which Martha Knox and Clint's sweetheart, Mary West, are passengers. Clint takes the trail and runs him down. Clint later learns Ace's true identity and saves him from a lynch mob. Because of the circumstances, Ace's captors relent, and the two brothers and their mother are reunited.
Forget the pretentious title, but don't forget to watch this movie, first chance you get. It is volume three of a set called "Legends Of the West," one of those compilations filled, mostly, with junk but, every now and then featuring some gems.
"Cavalcade Of the West" is the brightest gem. It stars a real cowboy, Hoot Gibson, who looks more like a mild-mannered office clerk. Looks deceive. Watch how he mounts and rides his horse - and watch how he emotes in a part that calls for heart.
You have to pay close attention from beginning to end to fully appreciate this beautiful story, and how it is told. I don't choke up easily, but this movie captured my emotions.
It was made in '36 so it is a little creaky. It goes for the familiar every now and then, but there is nothing in it that is not important, nothing that will not capture your heart and fascinate you.
The movie was a total surprise and a most pleasant one. Gibson and Rex Lease are excellent and, by the way, too many of the few reviews gave away way too much of the plot. These guys are fascinated by their prose.
Bottom line: If you can get your hands on this Platinum release (P.O. Box 2798 in La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602) grab it. I paid $5 for mine at a Big Lots.
As far as I'm concerned, this is a must-see which you will want to see, and savor, several times. The somewhat pretentious title actually tells the story of two brothers, separated by raiders who storm a covered wagon, kill the boys' father and carry off the younger brother. Brought up as an outlaw, this brother soon makes a name for himself as a fast-on-the-trigger gunman. Looking for more legitimate excitement, he tries to join the newly established Pony Express, but is turned down. The older brother, meantime I suppose you could write a book detailing all the movies in which this standard plot has been used. And for most of its length, this account comes across pretty much as you would expect from a Poverty Row tale. Production values are rough and ready; the direction, although competent enough, exhibits little, if any, flair or style; the sets are bone dry; the camera-work has nothing aside from good focus to offer; the heroine is colorless, the comic relief tedious, while our amiable hero, Hoot Gibson, seems content to get by on his likable personality. Only Rex Lease, stepping out of his usual first-lead mold as the villain here, brings a welcome touch of charisma to his role.
Suddenly, about three-quarters of the way through, all this changes. And I can pinpoint the exact moment when it all happens. It's one of the great moments in the whole history of the cinema. Rex is being questioned by Nina Guilbert when she suddenly realizes that the killer is her own son. Her cry of anguish and horror is so realistic that no further words need to be said. (Nina Guilbert made only ten movies, starting with One Year Later in 1933 and ending up with an uncredited bit as a guest in The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942).
Screenwriter Norman Houston went on to script no less than twenty Tim Holt entries for RKO between 1947 and 1952. These more sophisticated westerns are also characterized by his well-constructed but rather leisurely pace which builds into a fine climax. a5c7b9f00b
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