Zane Grey’s Westerns

 

Zane Grey:  1872 - 1939

Zane Grey was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and pulp fiction that presented an idealized image of the rugged Old West.

As of June 2007, the Internet Movie Database credits Grey with 110 films, one TV episode, and one entire TV Series based on his novels and stories.

 

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1.  The Last of the Duanes (1930) - George O’Brien (based on a Zane Grey Novel - Lone Star Ranger)

Buck Duane (George O’Brien) avenges his father's murder by gunning down the killer, but must flee from the law. He finds Ruth, whom he once loved, in the clutches of the outlaw Bland. In rescuing Ruth, he becomes entangled with Bland's amorous wife (Myra Loy).  Based on Zane Grey’s novel “Lone Star Ranger”.

NOTE: 1.  The titles in the very beginning of this video (about 50 seconds) is repeated a few times. 2.  At 3:30 seconds into the movie, the picture freezes or another color movie shows for about 10 seconds.  Just move the cursor about 15 seconds so the movie will continue.

[Deleted from Internet Archive]

2.  Zane Grey’s Fighting Caravans (1931) – Gary Cooper:

A strikingly handsome (and tall), youthful Gary Cooper -- this is the opportunity to see a giant screen legend when he was a vibrant young newcomer! This alone merits seeing this movie. The dialogue is witty, pithy and fun -- in fact, give me the screenwriter from 1931 over most of today's movies!. There is a lot of fast-paced and exciting western action (and the stunt work is just plain fun to watch). Yes, this was relatively early movie making, and in some ways it shows, but that also provides tremendous enjoyment for the film buff.

3.  Zane Grey’s Man of the Forest (1933) - Randolph Scott

Beasley (Noah Beery), who is after Gayner's (Harry Carey) land, plans to kidnap his daughter (Verna Hillie). But Dale (Randolph Scott) overhears their plan and kidnaps her himself. When Gayner arrives to retrieve his daughter, Beasley kills him and makes the Sheriff (Tom Kennedy) arrest Dale for the murder.


4.  Zane Grey’s To the Last Man (1933) - Randolph Scott 

In Kentucky just after the Civil War, the Hayden-Colby feud leads to Jed Colby (Noah Beery) being sent to prison for 15 years for murder. The Haydens head for Nevada and when Colby gets out of prison he heads there also seeking revenge. The head of the Hayden family tries to avoid more killing but the inevitable showdown has to occur, complicated by Lynn Hayden (Randolph Scott) and Ellen Colby's (Esther Ralston) plans to marry.   Buster Crabbe plays Bill Hayden (Lynn Hayden‘s brother).  A very young Shirley Temple plays Mary Stanley (in an un-credited role).


5.  Zane Grey’s Buffalo Stampede (1933) - Randolph Scott

This movie was also titled Thundering Herd.   The stars are Randolph Scott , Judith Allen , Harry Carey, Buster Crabbe and Noah Beery Sr.  The film quality starts out a bit rough but does straighten up to be a lot better but as with many of the old Zane Grey western movies made in the 1930s.   This movie was directed by Henry Hathaway .


6.  Zane Grey's Wagon Wheels (1934) - Randolph Scott 

Three veteran scouts, Clint Belmet (Randolph Scott), Jim Burch (Raymond Hatton)and Bill Oleary (Olin Howland), are leading a wagon train of settlers to the Oregon Territory. Fearing that an influx of settlers and merchants-to-follow would tear down his empire of fur-trading and exploitation of the Indians, Murdock (Monte Blue) has his henchmen pose as Indians in an effort to halt the western expansion.

 

When Selby (George O'Brien) arrives as the new ranch owner, he is assumed to be just another cowboy attracted to Ann Hepburn (Irene Hervey) so he takes a job as a dude cowhand. He learns cattle are being rustled and he suspects the boss Sam Hepburn (Henry Hall). But Hepburn suspects the foreman Hyslip (LeRoy Mason) and when he catches him with the goods, Hyslip shoots him. Hyslip then blames the new dude, and sends his men out to kill him.

8.  Zane Grey’s The Fighting Westerner (1935) - Randolph Scott 

This movie was also titled Rocky Mountain Mystery .  Randolph Scott plays the part of mining engineer brought in to help with a possible radium strike . BUT there has been one or more murders committed and Scott helps the new Deputy Sheriff investigate . A bit of a surprise ending is in store.


9.  Zane Grey’s Drift Fence (1936) - Buster Crabbe and Tom Keene

Jim Traft (Benny Baker) gets rodeo champ Travis (Tom Keene) to take his place as the new owner of a ranch having trouble with rustlers. To stop the rustling Travis and his men build a drift fence. Out to stop them is Clay Jackson (Stanley Andrews) and his men led by Slinger Dunn (Buster Crabbe).


10. Zane Grey’s Rocky Mountain Mystery (1935) - Randolph Scott  (Also known as "The Fighting Westerner".)

An early Randolph Scott western, based on a novel “Golden Dreams“ by Zane Grey. 

Randolph Scott plays the part of mining engineer brought in to help with a possible radium strike . But there has been one or more murders committed and Scott helps the new Deputy Sheriff investigate and solve the mystery killings . A bit of a surprise ending is in store.   


11.  Zane Grey’s Desert Gold (1936) - Tom Keene, Buster Crabbe, Robert Cummings

Chet Kasedon (Monte Blue) is after the Indians hidden gold mine but Chief Moya (Buster Crabbe) will not reveal it's location. He has also hired mining engineers Gale (Tom Keene) and Mortimer (Robert Cummings) to locate the mine.  When Gale sees Kasedon's cruelty to Moya, he switches sides.

 

12.  Zane Grey’s The Arizona Raiders (1936) - Buster Crabbe

After saving himself from hanging, Laramie Nelson (Buster Crabbe) saves Tracks Williams (Raymond Hatton) from the same fate. They then travel to Lindsay's ranch where they get jobs. There they run into Adams (Grant Withers) who they learn is planning to rustle Lindsay's horses.

13.  Zane Grey’s Forlorn River (1937) - Buster Crabbe

Visiting an old friend, Nevada (Buster Crabbe) and sidekick Weary (Syd Saylor) take jobs on a ranch rounding up horses. But the buyer turns out to be Les Setter (Harvey Stephens), a man Nevada earlier caught robbing a bank. Nevada knows Setter is a fake but bides his time waiting for Setter to make his move. Setter knows this and Nevada soon finds himself in jail when Setter frames him for rustling.


14.  Zane Grey's Hell Town (1937) – John Wayne & Johnny Mack Brown          

John Wayne plays the role of Dare Rudd, a drifter who gambles his money away and just can't seem to settle down until he goes back to his relative, Tom Fillmore (Johnny Mack Brown) who owns a great deal of cattle and runs the bank in town. 
Tom knows that Dare has a bad reputation but he gives him a chance and offers him a job to cook for his cattlemen. Tom has a girlfriend named Judy Rustoe, (Marsha Hunt) and Dare soon becomes very interested in her and they both start falling for each other.


15.  Zane Grey’s Mark of the Avenger (1938)  Dougless Bumbrille:

Also known as The Mysterious Rider

There is more than adequate financing for this Paramount effort, fourth cinematic interpretation of the Zane Grey novel, second with sound, and producer Harry "Pop" Sherman, creator of the William Boyd starring Hopalong Cassidy series, utilizes the extra funding to mount a generally well-crafted piece, although fiscal considerations cause a change in the film's lead as veteran supporting player Douglass Dumbrille replaces an always bothersome George Bancroft due to the latter's customary excessive salary demands. In this most faithful version to the original, stage nurtured Dumbrille is cast as Pecos Bill, a masked Robin Hood figure of the old west, a cover for his true persona, Ben Wade, who was falsely accused of murder 20 years before. Accompanied by his comical partner Frosty (the future Charlie Chan, Sydney Toler), Ben returns to the crime location to exact retribution, a risky business, but he has come as well to see his grown daughter and is able to assist her to avoid an inappropriate marriage while committing to her true love, Wils Moore, a ranch hand played by Russell Hayden.

16. Zane Grey’s The Light of Western Stars (1940) - Victor Jory

Easterner Madeline Hammond buys a ranch not knowing Hayworth is using it to smuggle ammunition across the border. When trouble starts, she brings back Gene Stewart (Victor Jory), the ex-foreman who left the country after fighting with the Sheriff (Tom Tyler) . Gene learns of Hayworth's scheme and forces him to blow up his supply. But the Sheriff, not getting his cut, has Hayworth killed and then arrives to arrest Gene for the murder.

17.  Nevada (1944) - Robert Mitchum - Just as Nevada (Robert Mitchum) wins $7000 in yellowback bills, Ben Ide takes his #7000 in yellowbacks and heads out to buy mining equipment. Burridge has his man Powell kill Ide and retrieve the money and Nevada finds Ide just as the posse arrives. Found with the money Nevada is arrested and Burridge now gets Powell to incite the local citizens to lynch Nevada.  


18.  Wanderer of the Wasteland (1945) - James Warren - Adam Larey (James Warren) is looking for the killer of his father when he was a boy. His only clue is a brand and he finds it when he runs into the Collinshaws. When he learns that Jim Collinshaw, now an old man and an invalid is the one, he is unable to kill him and leaves. But Eliot then kills Collinshaw and blames Adam and Adam finds himself in jail charged with the murder.


19.  Sunset Pass (1946) - James Warren - Rocky (James Warren) and Chito have the money they were protecting stolen. Using an unusual hoof print to identify one of the robbers, Rocky arrests Ash Preston. When Rocky is shot, Ash helps him recover. Chito finds the stolen money and Rocky lets Ash, having quit the gang, return it to clear himself. But Ash's ex-partner Cinnabar has a bank robbery planned and to get everyone out of town, he sends then gunning for Ash claiming he is a murderer.

20.  Gunfighters (1947) - Randolph Scott [Color] - Based on Zane Grey’s novel “Twin Sombreros”.

Randolph Scott takes his many problems in stride, such as attempting to put aside his gun and live down his fast-draw reputation. Too bad his old friend gets murdered by a bunch of bad guys and he's got to deal with two pretty women (sisters).

21.  Zane Grey’s The Thundering Herd – 1933Randolph Scott – Both Sprague (Harry Carry) and Jett (Noah Barry) and their crews are hunting buffalo. Tom Doan (Randolph Scott) is with Sprague and is looking for the Jett outfit where his girlfriend Milly is being held against her will. In addition to the thieving Jett who is stealing Sprague's furs, the Indians are gathering to attack all the white buffalo hunters. Buster Crabbe plays Bill Hatch who is Doan’s friend.

Note: Movie was later titled: Buffalo Stampede.     [Added]

22. Zane Grey's Thunder Mountain 1935 – George O’Brien Kal Emerson (George O'Brien') and his pal Steve Sloan (Dean Benton) have the secret of a gold mine in Thunder Mountain, but no money to finance their prospecting until Kal rescues Sydney Blair (Barbara Fritchie) from the unwelcome advances of a drunken miner. She persuades her father, Samuel Blair (Edward LeSaint), to stake them. When they locate the mine, Kal returns for Sydney and her father. On the trip back, Kal falls in love with Sydney, who pretends to do the same with him because she believes he will soon be a rich man. When they arrive, they find that a mining town has sprung up on the site and that Rand Leavitt (Morgan Wallace) is in control of the mine. Sydney and all of Kal's friends turn against him, with the exception of "Nugget" (Frances Grant), a dance hall girl secretly in love with him. Kal is preparing to take Leavit before the miner's court when Steve returns to tell how he had been attacked while on the way to register the claim.   [Sound is slightly out of sync with the picture]

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1.  Nevada (1944) - Robert Mitchum - Just as Nevada (Robert Mitchum) wins $7000 in yellowback bills, Ben Ide takes his #7000 in yellowbacks and heads out to buy mining equipment. Burridge has his man Powell kill Ide and retrieve the money and Nevada finds Ide just as the posse arrives. Found with the money Nevada is arrested and Burridge now gets Powell to incite the local citizens to lynch Nevada.

2.  Code of the West (1947) - James Warren- Knowing the railroad is coming, Carter is after the rancher's land. Bob Wade (James Warren) and Chito return just in time to save Banker Stockton and his money from Carter's men. When Stockton then lends the ranchers money, Carter has them burned out. Bob knows Carter is responsible and when Carter's henchman Saunders is recognized, Bob goes into action.

3.  Fighting Caravans (1931) - Gary Cooper - A young frontier scout (Gary Cooper) helps guide a freight wagon train across the country, fighting off Indians and evil traders, while his two crusty companions try and save him from falling in love

4.  Desert Gold (1936) - Buster Crabbe - Chet Kasedon is after the Indians hidden gold mine but Chief Moya (Buster Crabbe) will not reveal it's location. He has also hired mining engineers Gale and Mortimer to locate the mine. When Gale sees Kasedon's cruelty to Moya, he switches sides.

5.  Wanderer of the Wasteland (1945) - James Warren - Adam Larey (James Warren) is looking for the killer of his father when he was a boy. His only clue is a brand and he finds it when he runs into the Collinshaws. When he learns that Jim Collinshaw, now an old man and an invalid is the one, he is unable to kill him and leaves. But Eliot then kills Collinshaw and blames Adam and Adam finds himself in jail charged with the murder.

6.  West of the Pecos (1944) - Robert Mitchum - Robert Mitchum turned this unusual Zane Grey sage brusher into a hit with his cool demeanor. He's the cowboy who tries to turn a young punk kid into a real man. Little does Mitchum realize that the kid is really a girl dressed like a man in order to elude nasty villains. Barbara Hale plays the kid in man's clothing.

7.  Light of the Western Stars (1940) - Victor Jory - Easterner Madeline Hammond buys a ranch not knowing Hayworth is using it to smuggle ammunition across the border. When trouble starts, she brings back Gene Stewart (Victor Jory) , the ex-foreman who left the country after fighting with the Sheriff. Gene learns of Hayworth's scheme and forces him to blow up his supply. But the Sheriff, not getting his cut, has Hayworth killed and then arrives to arrest Gene for the murder.

8.  The Dude Ranger (1934) - George O’Brien - An Easterner (George O'Brien) inherits some land and travels west to claim it, only to find that a crippled man is robbing the daughter of the ranch foreman. Going undercover as a cowhand, O'Brien falls for the girl while trying to ferret out the crook.

9.  Thunder Mountain (1947) - Tim Holt - "Thunder Mountain" is the first of Tim Holt's 29 postwar westerns spread over the five year period from June, 1947 to June, 1952. While the film has one Zane Grey title, it has more elements in it from Grey's "To the Last Man" than from Grey's "Thunder Mountain", a not uncommon practice by RKO when dealing with the works of Zane Grey. This one had Marvin Harley (Tim Holt) returning to his Arizona ranch and finding it about to be sold for taxes. It has been in charge of his Mexican-Irish friend Chito Rafferty. Local saloon-keeper Trimble Carson, his friend Johnny Blue and Sheriff Bagley have information that the ranch is to be the site of a dam and plot to obtain it.

10.  Wagon Wheels (1934) - Randolph Scott - Three veteran scouts, Clint Belmet (Randolph Scott), Jim Burch and Bill OLeary, are leading a wagon train of settlers to the Oregon Territory. Fearing that an influx of settlers and merchants-to-follow would tear down his empire of fur-trading and exploitation of the Indians, Murdock has his henchmen pose as Indians in an effort to halt the western expansion.

11.  Under The Tonto Rim (1947) - Tim Holt - When the Tonto Rim gang attack Brad Canfield’s (Tim Holt) stagecoach, they take the strongbox and kill one of his workers. Learning the gang member Patton is in jail, Brad gets himself thrown in also. Chito helps break him out and he takes Patton with him. Patton leads him to the Tonto Rim hideout, but needing to get to the Sheriff, Brad finds himself a prisoner.

12.  Sunset Pass (1946) - James Warren - Rocky (James Warren) and Chito have the money they were protecting stolen. Using an unusual hoof print to identify one of the robbers, Rocky arrests Ash Preston. When Rocky is shot, Ash helps him recover. Chito finds the stolen money and Rocky lets Ash, having quit the gang, return it to clear himself. But Ash's ex-partner Cinnabar has a bank robbery planned and to get everyone out of town, he sends then gunning for Ash claiming he is a murderer.

 

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