Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Big Stampede review

The Big Stampede (1932)
Dir. Tenny Wright
Staring John Wayne, Noah Beery, Duke

The governor sends John Steele (Wayne) out into the frontier to stop a gang of murderous cattle rustlers.

Like Ride Him Cowboy, this is another film that is a remake of an earlier film that stared Ken Maynard called Land Beyond the Law. Like Ride Him Cowboy, this film reuses a good bit of footage from the earlier film for a good amount of the scenes where the actors aren't close enough to the camera to be recognizable. But overall  The Big Stampede is a better film than Ride Him Cowboy. They are both simple B pictures that clock in at under and hour, but The Big Stampede felt like it had better pacing and it was more fun to watch. There isn't anything ground breaking about it, it's just a simple, predictable story. You know the lead girl is going to fall for the white hatted good guy, and that evil will be punished, but getting there is a fun ride. John Wayne is good in his role as the bland good guy, as is Noah Beery as the leader of the cattle rustlers, but Luis Alberni steals the picture as Sonora Joe, the leader of some Mexican bandits that gets enlisted by Steele to help him stop the rustlers. Alberni is full on overacting and chewing scenery, but he gives the movie a boost in energy that adds to the films fun feel.

Overall this isn't a bad movie, but like Ride Him Cowboy this isn't going to be on top of anyone's best John Wayne movie list. But it is a fun little B picture. It's a bit unfortunate that most people ignore a lot of the quickie B's from the thirties, but while a lot of them aren't good there are some ones that are worth seeking out. I'd say that this is one of those.

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