John Wayne comes to a prairie town to work on a ranch and befriends the crotchety, hard drinking, woman hating, George “Gabby” Hayes (whom Wayne refers to as “a miserable old cuss”). They learn that the owner of the ranch has been murdered and Wayne sets out to find the killer while romancing not one but TWO vastly different women. More people wind up dead and Wayne is predictably blamed and has to clear his name.
This leisurely paced western has way too many supporting characters and offers no surprises whatsoever but it benefits from a healthy budget and the considerable star presence of Wayne. The flick is a little sparse in the action department (more people get pistol whipped than shot) but the highlight comes during a tense poker game in which Wayne gets the upper hand on a quick draw upstart. Nobody reinvented the wheel on this one, but any movie featuring Wayne and Hayes is automatically worth a look in my book. Ella Raines also provides some romantic sparks as the feisty spitfire who vies for Wayne’s affections. Frequent Wayne co-star Ward Bond also turns up in a supporting role.
Though Gabby is pretty funny, it’s Wayne who gets the best line of the movie when he says “I’d rather walk for somebody else than ride for you!”