John Wayne plays John Blair. He and his partner, Larry Adams (Lane Chandler) are out of work when the arrival of telegraph ends the Pony Express. They get swindled by Cal Drake for a telegraph line and equipment to a ghost town. John determines that he will operate the line and learns that a coach race will be staged and he signs up for it. The fastest team in the race will win a $25,000 government contract.
Working from quartet of Eugene O’Neill plays, John Ford created a hauntingly dark dramatic universe, populated with his usual stock company of players augmented by John Wayne in the role of the naïve Swedish sailor Olsen.
In Old Oklahoma (re-issue title is War of the Wildcats) John Wayne fights it out over some oil leases and a woman.
Here John Wayne plays Singin’ Sandy Saunders, the screen’s first singing cowboy. Singin’ Sandy’s ten-gallon hat was black instead of white. This movie is a little more intense than your normal musical cowbody movie of the time. Sandy says “the streets soon running with blood” and “you’ll be drinking your drinks with the dead”, which in not the tamest John Wayne of the 1930’s.