Rogue of the Range (1936) Johnny Mack Brown, Lois January, Stephen Chase, Phyllis Hume Movie Review

Rogue of the Range (1936)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Johnny Mack Brown in Rogue of the Range (1936)

Undercover Rogue

U.S. Marshal Dan Doran (Johnny Mack Brown), with the help of Sheriff Tom (Horace Murphy) is working undercover as an outlaw. The plan is to get arrested for a hold up so he can be sent to prison where he can then befriend Jim Mitchell (George Ball), a gang member serving time. But the plan doesn't stop there as both Dan and Jim are allowed to escape so that Dan can get in with the gang to discover who the ring leader is. But things don't go to plan when his cover is blown.

I wonder whether back in the 1930s they had something like an index of story lines for westerns and then every time they had a new western star they would work their way through that index of storylines. As such whilst "Rogue of the Range" is a Johnny Mack Brown western the storyline which sees him masquerade as a robber to join a gang of outlaws is devoid of all originality and has that familiarity to it that makes you feel like you have seen another western star in exactly the same story.

Now in fairness "Rogue of the Range" is not a bad movie for what it is, as in one of those one hour westerns from the 1930s. But whilst the acting is okay and the camera work is good it doesn't have anything going on to make it special or stand out from the crowd. Part of that comes down to Johnny Mack Brown who never had a great deal of charisma as a western star.

What this all boils down to is that "Rogue of the Range" is just another old, 1930s western which recycles a familiar storyline and fails to do anything with it to make it feel fresh and different from any other western of the era.