Wayne's Roaming in Wyoming
The days are ticking down in Wyoming till they vote on statehood and typically there are some who want the vote to fail. Charles K. Plummer (Harry Woods) is one of those who want it to fail and he has the power, and the henchmen, to make life tough for anyone who would vote in favour of it. The news has got back to the Governor who sends in Federal Agents Tipton (John Wayne) and Bridger (Lane Chandler) to make sure of a fair vote takes place. When Bridger is killed by Plummer's henchmen Tipton fights on and comes up with a plan to get Plummer's men out of the way whilst rallying the ranchers to descend on the town in force.
For me, remembering I have watched probably 100 or more of these early 1 hour westerns, "The Lawless Nineties" is just another one made for the Saturday morning crowd who rushed down to the picture house for their weekly dose of western action. As such we have Plummer, a businessman in Wyoming who is in fact secretly behind all the trouble and then we have Tipton who is are out of town hero riding in to save the day. And just as typically you have Janet Carter, daughter of the local paper owner which of course is the romantic element. So the basic ingredients are there and whilst the State vote storyline is a bit more unusual everything about "The Lawless Nineties" plays to type.
But that doesn't mean "The Lawless Nineties" isn't entertaining, it is on par with many of these 1 hour westerns and benefits from this being one of the many 1 hour westerns which John Wayne starred in before he really became a major star. Not that John Wayne does anything special in this, in fact due to some less than decent supporting performances the fight scenes in this are terribly staged.
It's not just John Wayne who makes "The Lawless Nineties" entertaining there is also Ann Rutherford in the damsel role who of course initially doesn't take kindly to Tipton. But the most entertaining thing for me is the performance from George 'Gabby' Hayes playing it respectable as Major Carter and almost unrecognizable from the Gabby Hayes many will remember. And for those who need a reminder of how far society has changed this also features Fred Toones and Etta McDaniel with the sort of characters and dialogue which would get thrown out of the censors office now.
What this all boils down to is that "The Lawless Nineties" is truthfully just another entertaining 1 hour western from way back in the 1930s. But for fans of John Wayne it will be more entertaining than most especially with George 'Gabby' Hayes in a non sidekick role.