1935, 60 minutes, Lesser-Zanft/FOX, black and
Reviews: Two critics agree this is a
very low quality movie. The Variety critic says,
"Harold Bell Wright name and the star, George O'Brian who has a
following, is about all this western has to recommend it anywhere.
Since Wright wrote the story his plot has been worked to death and in
bringing it to the screen again the producers have made no effort to
freshen it up." The Motion Picture Guide called it,
"A predictable, overused story . . . ."
The New York Times critic tells us nothing
about the story or the quality of the movie, simply reporting that
Westerns like this provide a welcome diversion from the hectic life of
The Variety critic gives us a pretty good
idea of the plot: "O'Brian does the easterner who goes broke
and wanders out into the West under circumstances that are rather
fanciful. When he goes to work on a ranch and cherishes an
ambition to ride a champion bucking bronk, story is no less fictional in
its plot. Same old designing rancher trying to force a neighbor to
sell his place for pennies because latter can't get water. O'Brian
slithers into the picture as a mugg who saves the day for the
beleaguered rancher, at the same time winning his daughter.
Story attempts to inject menace in building up
scenes of action but for the most part every effort in that direction
falls somewhat flat and the final reel upsets all rules of logic.
Scenario threatens flying lead and dynamiting of a well, with hero and
heroine in danger, but suddenly turns around with all sides going
pansy. The rancher heavy lays down his rifle, the hero starts to
take his leave peacefully and his ranch foreman consoles the girl who
had passed out.
Everybody has forgotten about the quarrel
between the two ranchers, the cattle are getting theirs through a well
figured out by O'Brian, which draws water underneath the ground from the
other side of the fence, and the local ranch lothario hands the girl
over to O'Brian. Even the kids will give most of the picture a
laugh. It's that commonplace and juvenile."
Release: 20th Century Fox/Atherton
Production: Sol Lesser-John Zanft
Director: Edward F. Cline
Writing/Screenplay: From Harold Bell
Wright's novel by same name. Adaption and screenplay by Agnes
Christine Johnston and Frank M.
Availability: This movie is usually available from
Movies Unlimited, 3015 Darnell Road,
Philadelphia, PA 19154. 1-800-668-4344
In 2005 I bought a copy from VCI Home Video (Item # 1857) phone:
918-622-6460 or 800-331-4077. Also Dave Hadsell says "In August of 2003 I
purchased a copy of When A
Man's A Man (1935) from BostonPete.com The code number was