The Cherokee Strip (1937)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Run Time - 55 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The most enjoyable of the Warner Bros.-Dick Foran singing Westerns, this film pitches lawyer Foran against unscrupulous land swindler Edmund Cobb. A "sooner" who cheated the starting gun in the Oklahoma Land Rush (shown via stock footage from William S. Hart's Tumbleweeds), Cobb becomes the de facto owner of the town of Big Rock while doing a bit of cattle rustlings on the side. The town's acting mayor (Tom Brower) soon has had enough of Cobb's schemes and finds an ally in Foran. With the assistance of Brower's pretty daughter, Jane Bryan, and young son, Tommy Bupp, Foran succeeds in bringing the villain and his gang to their knees, not by using his fists or gun but by his superior courtroom dexterity. Foran's introduction in the film is only one of many highlights: Warbling "Along the Old Frontier," he is shot at, not by a music critic, but by a target practicing Tommy Bupp. One of the more palatable of screen kids, the then 12-year old Bupp later performs an engaging duet with Foran and is given some of the film's better lines, basically functioning as the comic relief. One of the studio's best young actresses, Jane Bryan never lives up to her potential here, but she is certainly an improvement over such former Foran heroines as Anne Nagel and Alma Lloyd. A veteran silent Western star, the tight-lipped Edmund Cobb makes a formidable villain this time around, but future leading man Robert Paige (billed as David Carlyle) is wasted as a friend of Foran's. All in all, The Cherokee Strip remains one of the more entertaining horse operas of the era.

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Keywords

bad-guy, cowboy, good-guy, land-scheme, land-war, land