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  • The Desert Trail (1935)
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The Desert Trail (1935)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Mary Kornman, Paul Fix, Eddy Chandler
  • Directors: Lewis D Collins
  • Writers: Lindsley Parsons
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W90KDG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,372 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Desert Trail (1935)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Mistaken identity, robbery and murder are all a part of this early John Wayne flick.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
1935's The Desert Trail offers something of a change of pace for John Wayne in his early acting career. This time around, in the role of John Scott alias John Jones, he's not exactly a good guy, but he's not exactly a bad guy either. What's more, he and his pal Kansas Charlie alias Rev. Harry Smith (Eddy Chandler) are a comic team of sorts. Their antics certainly made me laugh on several occasions. The two like to needle each other pretty good, and they are constantly trying to spark the same girl wherever they go. In times of trouble, they are known to get in minor catfights which invariably feature Charlie missing Scott by a mile, then having his foot stomped by his friend. This time, their attempts to outdo one another land them in hot water, accused of a murder and robbery they didn't commit. They trail the real criminal to Poker Flats and assume new identities, but they face the daunting task of clearing their names before the wrong hand of the law manages to nab them. There is one short scene of rodeo action taken from stock footage seen in many other early westerns from Lone Star Productions, but other than that this is an entertaining western featuring a comedic side of John Wayne that was fairly unusual at the time of the film's release in 1935.
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Format: DVD
Before I explain the "Alias" comment let me say that "The Desert Trail" is bad even by the standards of westerns staring The Three Stooges. In fact it features Carmen Laroux as semi-bad girl Juanita, when you hear her Mexican accent you will immediately recognize her as Senorita Rita from the classic Stooge short "Saved by the Belle".

In "The Desert Trail" John Wayne gets to play the Moe Howard character and Eddy Chandler gets to play Curly Howard. Like their Stooge counterparts a running gag throughout the 53-minute movie is Moe hitting Curly. Wayne's character, a skirt chasing bully, is not very endearing, but is supposed to be the good guy.

Playing a traveling rodeo cowboy Wayne holds up the rodeo box office at gunpoint and takes the prize money he would have won if the attendance proceeds had been good-the other riders have to settle for 25 cents on the dollar (actually even less after Wayne robs the box office). No explanation is given for Wayne's ripping off the riders and still being considered the hero who gets the girl.

Things get complicated at this point because the villain (Al Ferguson) and his sidekick Larry Fine (played by Paul Fix-who would go on to play Sheriff Micah on television's "The Rifleman") see Wayne rob the box office and then steal the remainder of the money and kill the rodeo manager. Moe and Curly get blamed.

So Moe and Curly move to another town to get away from the law and they change their names to Smith and Jones. Who do they meet first but their old friend Larry, whose sister becomes the 2nd half love interest (Senorita Rita is left behind it the old town and makes no further appearances in the movie).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 20, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I had to double check to make sure that "The Desert Trail" was still part of the series of sixteen B Westerns that John Wayne made for Lone Star/Monogram between 1933 and 1935. These films were made for $10,000 each in five days, with Wayne making $2,500 and the plots were pretty repetitive. Wayne plays an undercover lawman who the bad guys think is one of them, there are sequences involving exciting stunt work by the legendary Yakima Canutt, and the good guys win. But "The Desert Trail," made in 1935 is a bit different because it has much more intentional comedy than we have seen in the series. Maybe it was because Canutt was not involved, but there is also the fact that for the first time in the series George "Gabby" Hayes is not involved and the director was Lewis D. Collins instead of Robert N. Bradbury. The result is one of the more atypical of the young Duke's Lone Star efforts.
Wayne plays John Scott, a rodeo star and his best buddy is the gambler, Kansas Charlie (Eddy Chandler). The pair are framed for a robbery-murder in Rattlesnake Gulch by bad guy Pete (Al Ferguson) and have to flee to Poker City. There they take the names John Jones and the Rev. Harry Smith and once again get fingered by Pete. Fortunately Pete's accomplice, Jim (Paul Fix) has a bit of a conscience and helps out the boys and then things proceed as expected. If you want to get excited about John Wayne being a rodeo star, forget it, because it is all stock footage. The plot is nothing special, but Wayne and Chandler have some fun with what is going on and that makes this an above average Wayne film for the period. Mary Kornman as Anne and Carmen LaRoux as Juanita LaRoux provide the love interests for the boys. "The Desert Trail" is one of the better ones in this series, but keep in mind that it is not a typical example of what the young Duke was doing at this early point in his career.
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