LAND BEYOND THE LAW. Warner Brothers, 1937. Dick Foran, Linda Perry, Wayne Morris, Harry Woods, Irene Franklin, Frank Orth, Cy Kendall. Director: B. Reeves Eason.


   Walker Martin sent me an email yesterday morning, suggesting that I give you all a heads up on TCM’s lineup of B-Western movies they were going to show all afternoon, all oaters with “Law” in their titles.

   Of course I didn’t see his email until just before the first movie started, but I did get it in time to make sure my tape machine was properly set up and the cable box was set to the right channel. This is the first of the four.

   Plot synopsis: Cowpoke “Chip” Douglas (Dick Foran) is persuaded to become sheriff when his father is killed by rustlers. Complicating matters before his father’s death was the fact that Douglas was riding for the man (Cy Kendall) who’s secretly responsible for all of the gunplay and violence in the area. (Not that it’s much of a secret.)

   Dick Foran is billed as “The Singing Cowboy,” and indeed the chunky, jovial-looking actor has a voice like Nelson Eddy. No wimpy Roy or Gene is he. The opening scene, with the ranch hands riding into town singing like a grand chorus a song that might have been written by Sigmund Romberg, is a sight to be seen, and something even more spectacular to hear.

   This movie is pure horse operetta, through and through. And as thoroughly enjoyable, too, with plenty of plot, lots of action, and a spanking scene to boot!”