The Telegraph Trail (1933)

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    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas


    Plot Summary
    Greedy opportunist Gus Lynch, in order to continue to gouge townsfolk for necessary supplies, convinces High Wolf and his Indian tribe that they need to prevent the completion of the new telegraph lines or their tribe will be wiped out by a new influx of white men.
    Receiving an incomplete message warning of a white man's involvement
    in the recent Indian uprisings, cavalry scout John Trent is sent in to rectify the situation.

    Full Cast
    John Wayne .... John Trent
    Duke .... Duke, John's Hose (as Duke the Miracle Horse)
    Frank McHugh .... Cpl. Tippy
    Marceline Day .... Alice Keller
    Otis Harlan .... Uncle Zeke Keller
    Albert J. Smith .... Gus Lynch
    Yakima Canutt .... High Wolf
    Lafe McKee .... Lafe
    rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Clarence Geldart .... Army Captain (as Clarence Geldert)
    Chuck Baldra .... Guitar player Chuck (uncredited)
    Chief John Big Tree .... Indian Chief (uncredited)
    Bob Burns .... Tall Man in Store (uncredited)
    Ben Corbett .... Wagon driver Benny (uncredited)
    Frank Ellis .... First Henchman (uncredited)
    Bob Fleming .... Officer (uncredited)
    Jack Kirk .... Guitar player Jack (uncredited)
    Bud McClure .... Man at meeting (uncredited)
    Bud Osborne .... Army Telegrapher (uncredited)
    Al Taylor .... Jonesy (uncredited)
    Blackjack Ward .... Telegraph Line Worker (uncredited)
    Slim Whitaker .... Second Henchman (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Kurt Kempler adaptation
    Kurt Kempler story

    Original Music
    Leo F. Forbstein

    Ted D. McCord (as Ted McCord)

    Yakima Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)

    This is the film that James Cagney is shown as an example
    of talking pictures (and the reason for his impending unemployment)
    in Footlight Parade (1933).

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Telegraph Trail is a 1933 American Western film starring
    John Wayne and featuring Frank McHugh.

    This isthe 4th. of 6 films Duke made with Warner Bros, as re-makes of some
    silent films, that Ken Maynard had made.This one being a re-make of The Red Raiders (1927)
    These Duke versions were made, to use up unused film, that WB had,
    featuring Ken Maynard and his miracle horse.
    They brought in Duke and Duke! The Wonder Horse,
    and substituted them into the films!!
    If you look closely, you can spot the difference,
    between the two actors.
    Even the two horses, are noticeably different.

    When it opened at the New York Strand it was said
    "Crammed with action" "Thrills You'll Never Forget"

    In this one, Yakima Canutt, appeared, this being ,only his second outing with Duke.
    From this moment on, they were to try out and perfect, their throwing of punches technique,
    which would be, from then on widely used in the business!
    In those days, audiences thrilled to the climatic sequence.
    Indeed from this film on, the Duke image is beginning to show!!

    I enjoyed this series, and they remain favourites,
    as they were amongst the first VHS, I ever bought.


    User Review


    More Comedy than Western
    27 May 2006 | by Eventuallyequalsalways

    This kid-friendly Oater was obviously intended for the Saturday morning double-features which droves of kids attended in the 30's and 40's. Mom & Dad dropped you off while they did the weekly shopping and you had a double-feature, a couple of cartoons, a 3-Stooges short and a Movietone news to entertain you, all for a dime. I know because I saw hundreds of them. Anyway, about this picture, it pays very little homage to the so-called plot which involves something to do with the new invention of the telegraph bringing communication across the continent. It has hundreds of extras (they must have been cheap to hire in those days) dressed as settlers, cavalry or Indians backing up the star (John Wayne) and the requisite pretty lady played by Marceline Day. In those days, the studio executives must have been convinced that the Cowboy and his faithful horse sidekick (ala Roy Rogers and Trigger) was a winning formula, so they paired John Wayne with a beautiful white stallion named Duke. The major attraction of this movie is the continual series of sight gags and gaffes which we never noticed as kids. In one scene, John Wayne is on top of a telegraph pole sending a message back to the Fort and a crowd of 10-12 Indians rides up and begins shooting at him. Wayne pulls his trusty six-shooter, fires once, and kills the Indian with the headdress. THEN WAYNE PUTS HIS GUN BACK IN HIS HOLSTER! What kind of direction was that? Can you believe John Wayne ever quit fighting a hoard of enemies in his life? Well, he does in this movie. I guess it was because he wanted to wait until the Indians fired off a volley at him; this would allow him to pretend to be hit so that he could fall off the pole (ouch!) and fake his death. Naturally, the gullible Indians were fooled, so they rode off at an accelerated gallop (all the galloping scenes are speeded up about 20% to make things more exciting), and before they have gone 50 yards, we see John Wayne getting to his feet. Then we find out that he wanted the feathered headdress so he could strip off his shirt (showing the manly Wayne chest), don the headdress and, pretending to be an Indian, join the Indians attacking the settlers, and then slip through the line of wagons (in a circle, naturally) and reenter the camp where he can join up with the beautiful girl. Of course, he can't begin fighting the circling Indians until he ducks into a tent and grabs a beautiful fringed-leather shirt and puts it on. One must be properly dressed when fighting Indians! All in all, this movie is fun to watch and if you are an old codger like me, it will bring back lots of wonderful memories of all those Saturday mornings long ago.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 7 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • :wink_smile: I was just wondering on what you all of those who has seen it) thought about Duke's movie: Telegraph Trail. I don't recall anything about the movie if I have seen it. Anyway, I just picked up a copy of it in a local video store for a good price.

    Looking for any reviews if possible? I want to bring in the New Year watching Duke on the tube,

    In your opinions, is it :thumbs_up: or thumbs down?

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • Carl,

    I brought your question from General Discussions here to the film's title thread, so those unfamiliar with the film can learn a little more about it, and keep all the discussion here where it will be the most useful.

    It has been so long since I've seen it that I can honestly say I don't remember a thing about it, so maybe I'll have to dig it out and watch it again. Have you had a chance to watch it yet. What did YOU think?

    H.sanada, interesting link. I guess that guy didn't like the movie too well. I guess he's not a John Wayne fan :teeth_smile:.

    Chester :newyear:

  • This was the second of the JW movies from 1933 I watched today, much better than Somewhere In Sonora !! ( Not difficult though to be fair !)
    You get to see JW shirtless,( not a bad thing !! ) and dressed as an Indian !! Even the horse had a biggish part in this, ferrying messages to and from JW and his gal !!! The scene towards the end when the Indians attacked seemed to go on forever... considering the length of these early movies.......

    Dee x

  • I recently watched "The Telegraph Trail", and I'm curious as to whether John Wayne actually played the harmonica or if it's just dubbed in for the movie. Does anyone know?

  • My wonderful older sister got me the three-pack of "Telegraph Trail/Man from Monterey/Somewhere in Sonora" for Christmas. Oh, happiness! Does my family know me or what? :)

  • After a suggestion by Little One :wink_smile: , I watched this movie and really enjoyed it! My absolutely favorite part of the movie was when John Wayne's character was up on the telegraph pole, was attacked by Indians, and faked being shot, falling off the pole and sprawling out "dead". This was AWESOME and a classic move. Like honestly?? Why can't western characters do this more often!? Like when Hondo was being chased by hundreds of Indians in Hondo, he could've just played dead and been left alone! (maybe..) (wishful thinking maybe..)

    Still, really enjoyed this one!