1941: Directed by Raoul Walsh; B/W. John Wayne, Walter Pidgeon, Claire Trevor, Roy Rogers, George “Gabby” Hayes, Porter Hall, Marjorie Main, Raymond Walburn, Joe Sawyer, Helen MacKellar, John Farrell MacDonald, Trevor Bardette, Jack Montgomery, Hal Taliaferio (Wally Wales), Glenn Strange, Dick Rich, Jack Rockwell, Ferris Taylor, Harry Woods, Edmund Cobb, Yakima Canutt, Tex Cooper, Harry Cording, Budd Buster, Cliff Lyons.
Shot in big screen black and white and set around the time of the Civil War, this fictionalized rendition of the story of historical General Quantrill involves the rivalry between mild-mannered school teacher Will Cantrell (Pidgeon) and town newcomer Bob Seton (Wayne) as they compete for the sheriff’s job and the hand of Mary McCloud (Trevor). Wayne wins both, sending Pidgeon over the edge to run a ruthless gang of guerilla raiders who brutalize and plunder throughout Kansas until stopped by Wayne and every extra in Hollywood.
A pre-Trigger riding Roy Rogers plays Fletch McCloud, Mary’s hot headed younger brother who flip flops between law abiding good guy and renegade bad guy. Gabby Hayes is on hand to be relatively annoying, but the cast is huge enough to cover his antics throughout a rousing shoot-em-up of a bad-guys-never-prosper Western.
This is one of Republic Pictures’ rare big budget Westerns. It is obvious that every dime went into the great crowd scenes, full-scale pitched battles………………