John Wayne Western Movie - Star Packer
A gang working for The Shadow is terrorizing the town. John Travers decides to take on the job of sheriff and do something about it.
John Travers and his Indian companion Yak are after the mysterious Shadow and his gang. When Sheriff Davis is killed, Travers becomes Sheriff. Catching two gang members, he learns of the room where the gang gets their orders from behind a fake wall safe and makes plans to trap the Shadow.
He Dared Death In The Outlaw's Lair!
Definitely the best of John Wayne's million early films, although the acting and production values were of the usual B Western standard the plot was probably more cohesive than usual and more watchable. And almost believable, too! The Lone Star Saloon in Lone Star Town also had a good part in this one.
It's pretty obvious who the baddie will turn out to be (yet again!) - you can almost hear the boos from the kids in the audience from the mid-'30's when he makes his appearance, again as a beardless two-faced sidewinder. I assume here that unlike nowadays kids back then knew the difference between good guys and bad guys and right and wrong. Yakima Canutt is playing a Tonto character in here, Wayne is as dashing as always, the chases and ambushes are everything to be desired, in fact especially hair-raising. However, I can't actually remember now Wayne actually packing a Star, if he did he didn't make the same song and dance about it as he did in Rio Bravo! And everything is corny, contrived and creaky - but I love it just the same.
As far as I'm concerned it's a very pleasant way to fill an hour - a lot is "packed" into an hour. If you forced yourself to watch Star Packer in its entirety and found it dreadful you'll never get that hour back, but my friendly observation is you certainly won't like any of Wayne's other films for Lone Star.
As "B' westerns go for this period, this one isn't bad. In fact, in my opinion, it's one of the best of John Wayne's early "B" westerns. It has all of the right ingredients to make this an enjoyable hour.
First and foremost it has Yakima Canutt just emerging at this time as one of the premier stunt men, performing many of his landmark stunts. There are horse falls, saving the runaway stage, a wagon going over that ever present cliff and a bang up fight scene between Wayne's character and one of the bad guys.
Canutt also has a part in the picture and is a hoot as Wayne's faithful Indian companion "Yak". Wayne himself is better than usual for this time as an undercover government agent. Also. a clean shaven George (pre-Gabby) Hayes appears as the chief villain.
Another oddity for "B" westerns of this time, is that the hero ends up married to the heroine and has a son at the end of the film.