God's Country and the Man (1931)

Genres - Action, Romance, Western  |   Run Time - 59 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Although dismissed in its day as just another cheap Western, God's Country and the Man proves to be a surprisingly well-made sagebrush thriller, whose fiddling master villain, Al Bridge, is a revelation. Bridge, who co-wrote the scenario with director J.P. McCarthy and Wellyn Totman, plays Livermore, the gun-running boss of De Vina, a border town inhabited by cutthroats. Strapping Tom Tyler, as Texas lawman Tex Malone, arrives in Da Vina with his latest bounty, Irish-brogued Stingaree Kelly (George Hayes, long before he earned the nickname "Gabby"), there to infiltrate Livermore's gang of smugglers. Malone, using the alias of Steve Rollins, falls for the villain's French mistress, Rose (Betty Mack), and together they set a trap for the bandits. Rose proves to be yet another investigator in disguise -- and not French at all -- and in the final shootout, Stingaree Kelly sacrifices himself so that she and Malone can plan a future together. The surprising demise of the comic relief, and a boss villain who initiates every one of his crimes by playing a sad dirge on his fiddle, are just a few of this strange Western's many breaks with tradition. Produced by Trem Carr for the low-rent Syndicate Pictures Corp., God's Country and the Man remains a startling, well-acted example of a near-Gothic B-Western.

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Keywords

gangster, agent [representative], bad-guy, cowboy, good-guy, impersonation, love, outlaw [Western], romance, undercover