Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
In this his first Western of 1932, Tim McCoy is supported by a young John Wayne. Learning that he is a dead ringer for rancher Jim Rawlins, drifter Texas Grant (McCoy) agrees to keep up the charade in order to scare off a gang of rustlers that has been terrorizing the area. The missing man's wife, Helena (Shirley Grey in the second of four appearances opposite McCoy), at first believes Texas to be her husband but when learning otherwise agrees to keep his real identity hidden. Helena has been having trouble with Utah Becker (Wheeler Oakman), the owner of the Red Dog Saloon, who is secretly employing a majority of the Rawlins' cow hands. Texas, as Jim Rawlins, has the crooks thrown off the property, keeping only Steve, who has remained loyal to Helena throughout. When Becker learns of the newcomer's real identity, he accuses the cowboy of taking advantage of Helena and challenges him to a gunfight at dawn. The saloon owner hedges his bets, however, by having Nick hide in ambush, but both men are killed and Texas wounded. Nursed back to health by Helena, Texas reveals that he is indeed Jim Rawlins, a victim of amnesia caused by an earlier scuffle with Becker. Rotund Vernon Dent, later a popular villain in Three Stooges two-reelers, appeared in this film as Hefty, the bartender, a role he would re-create in future McCoy Westerns. Young John Wayne would also reappear in a future McCoy Western, Two Fisted Law (1932), in both instances playing characters sympathetic to Tim. Offscreen, Wayne and McCoy were less friendly, the former finding the latter morose and distant.
cowboy, impersonation, mistaken-identity, Native-American, ranch, stranger