The Trail Beyond (1934) starring John Wayne, Verna Hillie, Noah Beery, Noah Beery Jr., Robert Frazer, Iris Lancaster directed by Robert N. Bradbury Movie Review

The Trail Beyond (1934)   2/52/52/52/52/5

John Wayne in The Trail Beyond (1934)

A Terrible Trail

When a friend of his father's asks Rod Drew (John Wayne - The Star Packer) to try and track down his long lost brother and niece he willingly agrees and on his way to the mining country where he the brother had headed many years earlier Rod hooks up with old friend Wabi (Noah Beery Jr.) who he saves from a corrupt poker game. After stumbling across a miner's cabin they find a map which Rod goes to put in a safe but is seen by a henchman who works for LaRocque (Robert Frazer) who wants the map. With the Mounties after Rod and Wabi over a killing during the poker game LaRocque has his men dress up as Mounties to capture them and get the map.

I've now watched quite a few of these early John Wayne movies which were made by LoneStar productions as many of them have fallen in to the public domain and so can be watched online for free completely legally. And having watched a few I know what to expect, quickly made movies with simple storylines and occasionally some good stunt work but never anything spectacular. Sadly when it comes to "The Trail Beyond" it even comes up short of the standard reached by those other movies from the time and at times is comically bad.

Now in fairness the best thing about "The Trail Beyond" is the storyline as whilst convoluted it at least fills out the 55 minute running time. I'm not saying that it is in the least bit thrilling as to be honest when you've watched one of these early John Wayne movies you could say you have watched them all but at least in a basic way it is entertaining.

You could say the rest of "The Trail Beyond" is entertaining too, well entertaining in a bad way because frankly it is. Pretty much every actor delivers their lines as if they had only just read them from the script and were repeating them parrot fashion, ironically it is Earl Dwire in a supporting role as a henchman who delivers his lines more naturally than anyone. And then there is the action with outrageously poor fight scenes and humorous editing which makes it obvious when an actor makes way for a stuntman.

What this all boils down to is that even as a John Wayne fan I found "The Trail Beyond" hard work, much harder than many of those other LoneStar productions. Yet in a bad movie way it is still kind of entertaining.