Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
One of Wayne's Best B Films
Charles Tatum | 10/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a whole lot of creaky, bad B westerns, Wayne triumphs here. The locations are great, the stuntwork is great, and his teaming with Beery is great. Some of the editing of previous stuntwork into the climax is ridiculous, but this film works pretty well in a fun, old movie way."
John Wayne heads north of the border in this sub-par western
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""The Trial Beyond" is the ninth of the B Westerns that a young John Wayne made for the poverty row studio Lone Star/Monogram and is one of the most unusual because for once the usual cast of characters is different. In addition to the Duke (before he was really the Duke) we have come to expect to see George Hayes (before he was Gabby), the legendary stunt man Yakima Canutt, and character actor Earl Dwire. The last one on that list is around, again playing a henchman, and Canutt is doing the stunts, without a specific on screen role for once, but instead of Hayes we have both Noah Beery and Noah Berry, Jr. You have to wonder why things were different this time around, but I have yet to uncover an explanation.In terms of the action sequences this is one of the better Lone Star efforts. I have seen this 1934 film cited as showing how Canutt and Wayne had developed by this point the "pass system" that is now the standard technique for on-screen fight scenes. However, the story is pretty standard. Canutt does several of his better stunts, performing a leap from a moving train off a bridge into a river and riding horses off of a cliff. Another great stunt man, Ed Parker, plays Ryan the Mountie (it is in Canada, another interesting difference, so there has to be a Mountie). Set in Canada but beautifully photographed in California around Mammoth Lakes by Archie Stout, "The Trail Beyond" has Wayne playing Rod Drew, who is up in French-Canadian country trying to track down Felice Newsome (Verna Hillie), the daughter of an old friend. On the way he encounters an old college friend, Wabi (Beery, Jr.) who has to be rescued from some card cheats who frame him for a murder. What ups the ante is that they find a skeleton with a map, which, of course, means there is a gold mind out there. The bad guys after the gold mind are Jules LaRocque (Robert Frazer) and his henchman Benoit (Dwire), a pair of trapper with the worst French-Canadian accents you have ever heard. Things then proceed so that everybody has repeated occasion to get very wet (you will see what I mean).I suppose the reason Canutt was not given a regular role was because he is kept pretty busy in this one doubling for Wayne and everybody else and is the main attraction of the movie. The story and the acting are sub-par and while the quality of the video on this VHS tape is not especially good it did not appear to be as bad as what many are bemoaning is what they are finding on a DVD version of "The Trail Beyond." But on balance those accents are just so bad they drag this one down a notch despite the work turned in by Canutt."