Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Yellow Dust (1936)

Last week I watched Richard Dix in THE ARIZONIAN (1935), and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to follow up with another Dix Western in short order. That movie was YELLOW DUST (1936), released a year after THE ARIZONIAN.

In YELLOW DUST Dix plays college-educated Bob Culpepper, who goes west and saves the life of a prospector named Solitary (Andy Clyde). While burying the man who tried to kill Solitary, Bob and Solitary strike gold.

Bob and Solitary become partners and while heading to town to stake their claim, they interrupt a stagecoach robbery. Bob falls head over heels for one of the passengers, Nellie (Leila Hyams, THE BIG BROADCAST). Nellie has been hired to sing in a saloon owned by Jack Hanway (Onslow Stevens).

Hanway tries to take over both Bob's claim and his girl, but he's thwarted not only by Bob, Nellie, and Solitary, but by one of his own henchmen, Missouri (Moroni Olsen), who develops an unlikely understanding with Bob and helps him at a couple of key moments.

I found this briskly paced little 69-minute Western most enjoyable. It's more lighthearted than the typical Dix vehicle, with nice splashes of humor along with the Western action. He has some very nice extended scenes with Hyams, as Bob and Nellie's relationship develops, and there's also a terrific comedic character turn by Olsen.

There's a scene with Dix and Olsen locked up in jail where Dix explains all the reasons why his character is, to use a modern phrase, "stressed out," which is quite funny. All in all I very much enjoyed this one.

YELLOW DUST was directed by Wallace Fox and filmed by Edward Cronjager. Exteriors were filmed in Sonora, California.

YELLOW DUST isn't available on DVD or VHS. It's an RKO film which will hopefully be released on DVD at some point by the Warner Archive.

In the meantime, it can be seen from time to time on Turner Classic Movies. The trailer is available at the TCM website.

Previous reviews of Richard Dix films: THE PUBLIC DEFENDER (1931), HELL'S HIGHWAY (1932), ROAR OF THE DRAGON (1932), THE ARIZONIAN (1935), SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR (1936), IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD (1937), BLIND ALIBI (1938), SKY GIANT (1938), TWELVE CROWDED HOURS (1939), MEN AGAINST THE SKY (1940), THE ROUNDUP (1941), TOMBSTONE: THE TOWN TOO TOUGH TO DIE (1942), and THE KANSAN (1943).

5 Comments:

Blogger barrylane said...

Anything with Leila Hyams. Check out the duet she and Roland Young perform in Ruggles of Red Gap. Should be up on you tube.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

A rare one, this, it would seem. I've never seen it and it has never been on TV in the UK as far as I can ascertain. Sounds fun. Dix could be quite sombre in many roles (not a problem for me at all) but was very adept at the lighter side, as also in "IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD".
"THE WHISTLER" getting closer, Laura?! LOL

11:12 PM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I love The Arizonian as well. Haven't heard of Yellow Dust until now. It would be heavenly to enjoy the voices of Richard Dix and Moroni Olsen together. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Kristina Dijan said...

Watched this one last night and liked it a lot too. That jail scene was fun, I like how Nellie was smart enough to get the claim before Hanway and then the back and forth between her and Bob that followed...all this and some nice tunes as a bonus.

I've watched 8 Dix movies in the last couple weeks! Last night I also saw Transatlantic Tunnel which I really enjoyed, and tonight it'll be No Marriage Ties.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks to you all for your comments! I've put RUGGLES OF RED GAP and TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL on my "watch" list along with THE WHISTLER -- I found TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL hiding in my collection under the alternate title THE TUNNEL. (THE WHISTLER definitely getting closer LOL -- though may have to wait till after "film festival season" ends in early April!)

So glad you enjoyed this too, Kristina! Jerry, I'll make sure you see it. ;)

Best wishes,
Laura

10:06 AM  

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