Lawless Valley (1934) starring Lane Chandler, Gertrude Messinger, Richard Cramer, J.P. McGowan, Anne Howard, Si Jenks directed by J.P. McGowan Movie Review

Lawless Valley (1934)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Lane Chandler in Lawless Valley (1934)

Western Wars

With the Cattleman's Association concerned by the amount of rustling going on they hire Bob Rand (Lane Chandler) to track down and arrest notorious cattle rustler El Lobo who is in fact Big Mike Carter (J.P. McGowan). When Bob catches another outlaw he ends up out witted and left for dead in the desert but is lucky to have a talented horse to save him before meeting Rosita (Gertrude Messinger) who along with her father convince Bob that to get El Lobo he will need to go undercover. Bob and Rosita's disguise ends up not good enough and they end up being caught and held hostage by El Lobo where upon he realises....

I left the synopsis there for a reason which I will get to in a little while but let me tell you a little story. I have had "Lawless Valley" for quite a while and every time I thought about watching it I put it off because I was convinced I had seen it before. It was a feeling partly brought on by the fact that these old low budget westerns from the 30s were all incredibly similar but also the title is as generic as they come with several other movies using the words lawless and valley in their titles. As it turns out I hadn't seen it before and whilst really just another western from a long time ago it does have some amusing and frankly ridiculous elements.

So to delve into "Lawless Valley" a bit more and to try and give you a reason to watch other than to tick it off your list I had better say spoiler alert. With that done there is a scene where are hero gets tied to a tree by an outlaw so Bob whistles his horse who not only bucks the villain off but then comes over and unties are hero. If that wasn't bad enough whilst the horse does this Bob laughs likes a crazed madman making it not only strange but amusing in a seriously corny way.

But then there are also the attempts to make "Lawless Valley" clever and I wonder if George Lucas watched this as a boy as when El Lobo takes Bob and Rosita hostage he realises that Bob is his son. Yes "Bob I am your father" which for a western seems utterly far fetched but in truth makes it a little different and a little memorable and more entertaining than I expected for what looked like just another forgettable 30s western.

What this all boils down to is that "Lawless Valley" is really still only a western for those who are mad for old westerns but in being so ridiculous it is a lot more entertaining than you might be expecting.