Johnny Mack Brown in The Gambling Terror (1937)

High Plains Gambler

When Jeff Hayes (Johnny Mack Brown) comes to the rescue of a young boy who is screaming for help as a man hits him. The boy happens to be Jerry (Bobby Nelson) the son of Mr. Garret (Frank Ball) the owner of the town's paper and who has been rallying the rest of the town to make a stand against a protection racket. Having decided to hang around in town to run his gambling business Jeff finds he also is threatened by some heavies working for the protection racket but unlike others he won't cave in and takes the fight back against those running the operation.

Before Clint Eastwood played various men with no name who wandered in to town and helped them against what ever bad guy it was threatening them there was.... well there was a lot of actors who did the same but just didn't do it as memorably. In "The Gambling Terror" Johnny Mack Brown might not be a mysterious stranger but as Jeff Hayes he is the stranger who comes to town and makes a stand against the illegal protection racket which the rest of the town is pandering to. And yes that means that "The Gambling Terror" is a pretty generic old western.

The most interesting and semi-unique aspect of "The Gambling Terror" is that Jeff Hayes runs a travelling gambling operation and of course that makes him a bit of a dubious fellow to those who are clean cut. And yes that means when it comes to the obligatory female character who is the sister of Jerry, she takes an initial dislike to Jeff for being involved in gambling. But beyond that everything else in "The Gambling Terror" is typical right down to the obligatory comedic character.

What this all boils down to is that "The Gambling Terror" is just another old, quickly made western from the era when children would flock to the picture house on a Saturday morning to see the latest cowboy flick.