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).