Born to the West (1937)

Marsha Hunt in Born to the West (1937)

The Duke's in the Hunt

Wandering ranch hands, Dare Judd (John Wayne) and Dinkey Hooley (Syd Saylor) meet up with Dare's cousin Tom Fillmore (Johnny Mack Brown) who after the guys help prevent some rustlers stampeding his cattle offers them a job. When Dare meets Tom's sweetheart, Judy (Marsha Hunt) he can't resist sticking around and helping deliver the cattle to the railhead. But with Dare having a penchant for poker finds himself almost cleaned out when he ends up playing the crooked Buck Brady (James Craig).

So of course when it comes to "Born to the West" the reason to watch is Johnny Mack Brown as Tom... okay I'm kidding as of course this is an early-ish John Wayne movie where he was still building that on screen cowboy persona which would serve him well for decades. And watching the young and in truth handsome John Wayne playing a cocky young cowboy who likes to gamble and chat up pretty women is entertaining, more entertaining than the storyline which sees crooked cowboys trying to steal cattle whilst in cahoots with bad men as well as some crooked gamblers.

But almost 80 years after "Born to the West" was made there is one other draw and that this features a young Marsha Hunt. And whilst Hunt is only in the generic love interest role there is something about her performance, a seductive naturalness to it which makes you sit up and pay attention even now.

What this all boils down to is that "Born to the West" is really just a typical 1930s western with some romantic rivalry, bad men and horse back danger. Truth is that the storyline is forgettable but with this not only starring John Wayne but also Marsha Hunt it is well worth watching if you come across it.