Mack Brown Ponies Up
With express riders and relay stations coming under attack Major Goodwin (Tom Chatterton) asks prospector Cal Sheridan (Johnny Mack Brown) to take over the express station in Ruby Valley as operator Griff Atkins (Stanley Blystone) and his cronies are behind some of the trouble With Goodwin's daughter Alice (Dorothy Short) using her charms to persuade Cal he ends up agreeing to take the job despite having reservations, taking friend Shorty (Fuzzy Knight) with him. In a nearby relay station there is trouble as operator Old Man Reeves leaving his daughter Norma (Nell O'Day). With the help of Alice Cal sets out to find out who killed Reeves, suspecting known outlaws the Richard brother's until Norma finds proof that Atkins was behind it.
Ignore briefly that "Pony Post" is set in an express station and features a relay station and what you have is a typical western storyline. On one hand you have Johnny Mack Brown are laid back hero and on the other you have Stanley Blystone playing the devious bad guy who through his outlaw connections stirs up trouble in order to fill his own pockets and get his own way. As such when it comes to the storyline "Pony Post" is as regular as 90% of other westerns made around 1940 and to be honest it still amazes me that so many similar westerns were made around this time.
But what this means is that "Pony Post" is all about the small details which range from watching someone mount a moving horse to their being two pretty actresses in this movie with both Nell O'Day and Dorothy Short providing some distraction. But again even the moments of detail, such as Shorty's struggles to mount a horse end up for the most routine and typically drawn out.
What this all boils down to is that "Pony Post" is just another, extremely typical one hour western from 1940. That doesn't mean it is bad but it does mean that watched now it has next to nothing going on to make it stand out from the crowd.