Silent Men (1933)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 58 min.  |  
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Tim McCoy played the classic good/bad man in this average B-Western from Columbia Pictures filmed in about a week and on a reported budget of 12,000 dollars. McCoy played Tim Richards, a cowboy who escapes from jail after serving a sentence for a crime he didn't commit. He obtains a job checking cattle for rancher "Two Block" Burnett (Joseph W. Girard) and is almost immediately forced into a range war between Burnett and his neighbors, Ed (Wheeler Oakman) and Jack Wilder (J. Carrol Naish), who mistakenly believe that Burnett killed their father. Tim falls in love with Ed and Jack's sister, Wynne (Florence Britton), and when Tim is framed for the murder of alcoholic "Coyote" Cotter (Walter Brennan), the Wilders stand by him. The real murderer proves to be Carl Lawler (Matthew Betz), a former cellmate of Tim's. There is a climactic fire set by Lawler and the inevitable shootout, which leaves only Tim standing. Having made the area safe from the likes of Lawler and his boss, crooked lawyer Oscar Sikes (William V. Mong), Tim is cleared of all charges, the Wilders and Burnett come to an agreement, and Wynne accepts Tim's proposal of marriage. As in the later Rusty Rides Alone, Wheeler Oakman, usually cast as a boss villain, played a good guy this time around. Director D. Ross Lederman was almost fired by studio owner Harry Cohn, accused of having leaked the meager budget of this film.