Mountain Justice (1930)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Western hero Ken Maynard lifted his voice in a campfire song, making the near tone-deaf actor the first "singing cowboy." Other than Ken's warbling and sound in general, Mountain Justice told the rather timeworn Western story of a young man searching for his father's killer. Jud McTavish (Otis Harlan) is ambushed and shot on his Oklahoma ranch. The only clue to the killer's identity is a letter of warning and the old man's dying words: "Kettle Creek -- Kentucky!" Young Ken McTavish travels to Kettle Creek posing as deaf in the hope that handwriting will disclose the author of the mysterious letter. It does -- in time -- but an old feud between the McTavishes and the Harlands complicates matters. As it turns out, the letter was written by lovely Coral Harland (Kathryn Crawford, who sings several songs in the film) and the two youngsters fall in love. Universal, who resumed production of series Westerns after acquiring the services of Maynard, gave the star more or less free reign on this film, which was released as a "Ken Maynard Production." Thus, Maynard was responsible for the appearance in this film of black comedian Blue Washington, whose stereotyped mugging remains awfully hard to accept for modern audiences.

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Keywords

bad-guy, cowboy, family-member, father, good-guy, justice, killing, mountains, ranch, revenge, search, songwriter, train [locomotive]