A sub-par B Western from John Wayne's Lone Star period
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Rainbow Valley" was the 13th of the B Westerns that young John Wayne did for Lone Star, which was part of the poverty row Monogram studio. This 1935 film was directed by Robert N. Bradbury, who did most of Wayne's Lone Star efforts and has a rather interesting premise for a western. Rainbow Valley needs a new railroad built through the gold country and Wayne plays undercover agent John Martin, who shows up to protect the workers. Meanwhile, local big shot Mr. Rogers (LeRoy Mason) brings in a hired gun, Butch Galt (Jay Wilsey, aka Buffalo Bill, Jr.), who has crossed paths with Martin before. It turns out they shared a prison cell together, so Galt thinks he can get Martin to help destroy the railroad with dynamite. George Hayes, who did not quite have his "Gabby" persona developed at this point, gets second billing playing one of the locals while Lucile Browne is Eleanor, the minor love interest for Martin in this oater. Who is missing from this Lone Star film is the legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt, which would explain why the stunt work is not as exciting as it usually is in these films. Canutt is usually the attraction here and not Wayne, who is obviously the selling point for putting out these video copies of less than stellar prints. By now in the series the idea that Wayne is working undercover and that the bad guys think he is an outlaw too is getting really old. Only a true fan of the Duke is going to watch all of these, but most movie fans can stand to check out a couple to see what Wayne was like when he was learning his craft."