Johnny Mack Brown in Bar-Z Bad Men (1937)

Bar-Z as they Ran Out of Letters

After another run in with the law Jim Waters (Johnny Mack Brown) leaves town to go and work on his friend Ed Parks' (Jack Rockwell) ranch. But Jim walks in to trouble as someone has been rustling cattle and then branding it as Ed's so to make it look like he has been rustling cattle from rancher Hamp Harvey (Frank LaRue). Jim, whilst trying to get to the bottom of this discovers that it is Ed's foreman Brent (Dick Curtis) who is behind the rustling and is in fact working for Sig Bostell (Tom London), a businessman who wants Harvey's ranch either by means fair or foul.

So we have a dodgy businessman using a ranches trusted foreman to cause a war between ranchers so that he can get his hands on the land. I reckon if I looked through all the westerns I have reviewed a good 20% maybe more will feature a storyline built on that sentence or something very similar. As such "Bar-Z Bad Men" is as generic as that synopsis sounds with Johnny Mack Brown playing the hero role which pretty much every western star will have played at one point or another in their careers. And in fairness he does a nice job of playing the hero, a lot less cheesy than some of the stars of these 1930s western with his big build working in his favour. But there is nothing else in "Bar-Z Bad Men" to make it stand out from the very big pool of westerns.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Bar-Z Bad Men" is entertaining with Johnny Mack Brown being more entertaining than some western stars this is just a generic 1930s western with nothing about it which is unique.