Sir George and Wellington

Johnny Mack Brown and Beth Marion in Between Men (1935)

When Johnny Wellington (Johnny Mack Brown) was just a boy he was shot when a fight broke out between his father and some men with his father ending up killing the man who shot his son and then fleeing, convinced his son is dead. Johnny didn't die and grew up under the care of not only Sir George (Lloyd Ingraham) the town's wealthiest man but also running his father's blacksmith business. Johnny over hears Sir George talking to his lawyer about leaving everything to Johnny and in doing so not leaving anything to the grand daughter he has never met due to his daughter walking out on him 18 years ago. Johnny takes it upon himself to head to New Mexico and find the grand daughter but in doing so finds himself walking in to a troubled ranch.

Just on a quick side note let me mention director Robert N. Bradbury who in the year 1935 had 16 movies which he directed released, take in to account time off and that is roughly 3 weeks a movie. "Between Men" is of course one of those movies and has all the marks of it with familiar actors, familiar story elements and familiar action. But "Between Men" does have something extra, some may say an intricate set up whilst others may say a convoluted set up. By that I mean the back story which sees Johnny being shot as a kid, his father going on the run and Johnny being raised by the wealthy Sir George. In the big picture it is pretty obvious where it will lead but also sort of feels like it has been added on to a typical ranch drama to make a short story into a 60 minute one.

There is though one other thing which is worth mentioning when it comes to "Between Men" and whether it was intentional or just sheer dumb luck some of the action is quite eye catching. In particular there is a brief but effective tracking short of two men on horse back racing across the countryside which feels like it is being shot at speed.

What this all boils down to is that "Between Men" is many things from being just another 1 hour western to having quite a convoluted set up. But it also has its moments which really grab your attention which makes it worth a watch for fans of old westerns.

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