Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
5 stars for you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it factor.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I caught this early John Wayne gem in the wee wee hours of the morning, on the AMC movie channel. I was spellbound! What a museum piece, like the first western ever made or something! It featured a heroine of the Clara Bow era, an embryo John Wayne, a very bad child actor wearing an enormous Indian wig, shots of horses galloping down the road like equine Keystone Kops, and a 20 minute shootout between the good guys and the bad guys in which there was no dialog, no action, not even any ducking for cover. An ugly ol' coot sat down IN FRONT OF A WINDOW and proceeded to plug away non-stop at his enemies until they waved a white flag! Unbelievable, catch it if you can, your jaw should drop right down onto your chest!"
One of John Wayne's better acting performances at Lone Star
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Wayne turns in one of his better performances in a Lone Star/Monogram B Wester in "'Neath Arizona Skies." In this 1934 film, directed by Harry L. Fraser, Wayne plays Chris Morrell, who is helping a young Indian girl, Nina (Shirley Ricketts) search for her missing father (actually she is considered a half-breed by those less enlightened times, which effectively reduces her to being an Indian in the eyes of the cowboys) . Complicating the situation is that in the absence of her father she is the heir to a rich oil field, which is the target of outlaw Sam Black (Yakima Canutt) and his gang. The rather ridiculous twist on this one is that Sam knocks out Chris and rather than simply killing him they dress him up in the clothes of a wanted bank robber (some wanted posters apparently described clothes more than the face of the outlaw). This means as Chris chases down Nina and the outlaws, the law is on his heels while ignoring the outlaws that our hero is chasing.Sheila Terry is Chris' love interest Clara Moore because, if you remember, Nina is an Indian (besides he is her guardian, which would make anything more wrong). However, despite the flaws in the plot screenwriter Burl Tuttle does give Wayne a couple of choice lines of memorable dialogue in this one (e.g., "Snakes like you usually die of their own poison," and the philosophical observation "Some men are like books written in a strange language, and that makes it awfully hard to read them"). George Hayes, who is perfecting his Gabby persona, has a minor role as Matt Downing in this one, and normal heavy Earl Dwire plays Nina's father Tom in another small role. My guess is that with a different director (Robert N. Bradbury did most of the Wayne films at Lone Star) the casting decisions ended up being different. Maybe shaking up the stock company had an impact on Wayne, because his acting is noticeably better in this one."
A good story that comes off rather bland
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 04/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Lone Star Pictures feature from 1934 doesn't seem to hold up as well as many of John Wayne's other early pictures. The technical quality is a little less pristine, and the plot is a little less enjoyable. `Neath Arizona Skies a little different from many westerns in that a child lies at the heart of this story. John Wayne is "Daddy Chris" Morrell to a little Indian girl named Nina; Nina's mother is dead, and no one knows where her white father is or if he is dead or alive. Thanks to the discovery of oil on Indian lands, little Nina is suddenly worth fifty thousand dollars; this fact does not go unnoticed by desperadoes such as Sam Black (Yakima Canutt) and his gang. Morrell manages to escape town with Nina, but he is forced to send her ahead in order to slow down Black and his gang. The place of safety he sends her to ends up putting her in even more danger, and Morrell's troubles only increase when another bad guy tries to frame him for robbery. There is a decent amount of action, but it is your basic shoot-out, fisticuffs, and horse chase scenario that plays out. There is nothing really wrong with `Neath Arizona Skies, but it just fails to excite me the way some of The Duke's other early westerns do."