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The Law Commands 1937
Description: Night riders are terrorizing homesteaders, and the city doctor tries to hold the locals from forming a vigilante group. After more cities folks are killed, however, the rest of the city makes the doctor the city sheriff and says him to clean up the gang.
Released: 07 May 1937 Director: William Nigh Writers: Bennett Cohen (story and screenplay) Actors: Tom Keene, Lorraine Randall, Robert Fiske, Budd Buster Genres: Drama, History, Western
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The Law Commands Reviews:

Produced by E.B. Derr, a former adviser to Joseph P. Kennedy, the Low-budget Crescent Pictures productions starring Tom Keene were not advertised so much as Westerns but as historical journey yarns. "The Law Commands," however, is the usually sagebrush tale of an upstanding citizen battling a criminal security syndicate in Iowa at the time of statehood. As such, it isn't half terrible and the surviving print remains watchable if slightly on the scratchy side. Of interest to B-Western fanatics is a huge role for nice old Horace B. Carpenter, a hero star for Cecil DeMille in the 1910s who was offered mostly one-line bits in the talkie era. Everytime a bit of a ham, Horace chews the scenery with abandon here as well as the head of the local farmers cheated out of their land by greedy Robert Fiske. Budd Buster plays the comic sidekick role in ersatz Gabby Hayes style and Tom Keene is his usual stoic self. The leading lady, Lorraine Hayes, was the sister of B-Movie femme fatale Bernadene Hayes and not, as some sources suggest, the future Laraine Day.


"The Law Commands" is accessible at YouTube. Lots of very nice films are accessible at YouTube. But sometimes the folks uploading them don't do a very nice job, or, worse, they don't have a finished print of whatever they're offering."The Law Commands" is one of the latter. It looks like an whole reel is missing because suddenly the terrible guys are on the run with no explanation as to why.That is really too terrible because the storyline starts extremely well, with a superlative cast presenting the story, and speaking some clever dialog throughout most of the movie.Some of the actors, including one of my favorites, Tom Keene, and Carl Stockdale and Robert Fiske as a terrible guy, would stand out in any production.One of my motion picture heroes, David Sharpe, is fresh and young here, but even so, he gives a believable performance.Then the apparent missing reel and the rather lame and tame ending causes it all to seem cute flat. Frankly, I'm puzzled why it happened.Still, I'm glad I watched and I hope you will too.



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