Paroled - To Die (1938) Bob Steele, Kathleen Eliot, Karl Hackett, Horace Murphy Movie Review

Paroled - To Die (1938)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Paroled - To Die (1938)

Non Descript Bob Steele Western

Harvey Meline (Karl Hackett) may be the town's bank owner but he is secretly siphoning off money to finance an oil well. The trouble is that local good guy Doug Redfern (Bob Steele) is a thorn in his side, preventing a robbery of the bank and then dancing with Joan Blackman (Kathleen Eliot), the woman Harvey plans to make his wife. So when Harvey finds Doug's bandana on the floor he has his outlaw buddies stage another bank hold up and use the bandana to stitch Doug up for the crime. Whilst charged with the robbery Doug is allowed out on parole and determined to clear his name whilst Harvey is determined to do away with Doug once and for all.

"Paroled - To Die" ends up typical of so many of these Bob Steele westerns, not terrible but not exactly engaging either. Now some of that blame has to be put on Steele as for me he was never the most natural of actors, always playing up to the camera rather than ignoring it being there which he does almost in every scene he appears in as Doug Redfern, curious name I know. But it isn't all Steele's fault as the rest of the cast are equally as forgettable and stiff.

It isn't just the acting which is forgettable in "Paroled - To Die" as the storyline which sees the good guy having to prove himself innocent of a crime he didn't commit due to an unscrupulous businessman is just ad cliche. Yes it has all the ingredients including the generic female role but there is nothing to distinguish this from the many other westerns which were made back in the 30s.

What this all boils down to is that "Paroled - To Die" is a non descript western built on cliches and ending up a generic and forgettable experience. Maybe for those who are still fans of Bob Steele they might find something entertaining in this.