LAND BEYOND THE LAW reteams Foran with Linda Perry, his sweet leading lady from CALIFORNIA MAIL (1936). She's also in his short THE SUNDAY ROUND-UP (1936) which is included on another disc in this set.
As the movie begins, Chip Douglas (Foran) is a good-natured but immature cowboy who loves to let off steam in town by shooting the place up. His behavior scandalizes Louise (Perry), who had just rejoined her mother Kate (Irene Franklin) in town after years of absence. Although, thanks to the help of the cowboys, Kate pretends to run a hotel and restaurant, she actually runs a saloon and doesn't want Louise to know.
I really enjoyed CALIFORNIA MAIL, and I think I liked this one even better. Foran takes his character through a believable maturing process in a fairly short time span.
His singing in this is outstanding, calling to mind Nelson Eddy; I was impressed with how long he held the final note in the opening song "The Prairie is My Home." Indeed, when he and the cowboys sing on their way into town, it made me think of sort of a Western version of THE DESERT SONG (1943). Not at all bad for a low-budget "B" movie! The reprise of "The Prairie is My Home" in the final scene, with Chip singing to Louise, left me with a big smile on my face.
The sight of a young, long-haired Wayne Morris singing with the group of cowboys also made me grin. Morris, who was about 23 at the time, plays Foran's sidekick.
George O'Brien and Tim Holt made at RKO.
The cast of this film included familiar faces such as Frank Orth, Harry Woods, Cy Kendall, Glenn Strange, Milton Kibbee, and Edmund (Ed) Cobb, some of whom were also in CALIFORNIA MAIL. Look for Dickie Jones as a rancher's son.
LAND BEYOND THE LAW was directed by B. Reeves Eason, who specialized in "B" movies and shorts. It was filmed by Ted D. McCord and the uncredited L. William O'Connell. (It's worth noting that nearly three decades later, McCord would film the spectacularly great-looking THE SOUND OF MUSIC.) A notable rock location late in the film was shot at Iverson Ranch.
The print of LAND BEYOND THE LAW was for the most part excellent, although there were moments where the print briefly faded out. The stock footage looked rough at times, but no matter.
LAND BEYOND THE LAW shares a disc with two of the other movies in this four-DVD, 12-film collection. The trailer is included for each movie.
Based on the first two films I've seen, this set is a recommended buy for "B" Western fans. I expect to review additional films in the near future and will report if they maintain the same level of quality.
Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD collection. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.