Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Starring John Wayne and Noah Beerys.  (Yes,  both Noah Beery, Sr. and Noah Beery, Jr.!)

Rob Drew (Wayne) heads to Northern Canada in search of Noah Beery (Sr.) and his daughter.  Along the way, he picks up old friend Noah Berry (Jr.).  Framed for murder and chased by mounties, Waynr finds himself in the middle of a feud between trading post owner Beery (Sr.) and some French Canadian baddies. (Be warned:  the bad guys have atrocious French accents -- one commenter likened it to cartoon skunk Pepe LePew.)  There's some good scenery  of the California Sierras, standing in for Canadian mountains.  There's also a lot of water; this is the wettest Wayne was in a film until 1942's Reap the Wild Wind.

Also in the cast are Verna Hillie, Robert Frazer, Earl Dwire, and Iris Lancaster; Hillie plays the good girl (who has very few lines), while the other three are bad-accented baddies.  (According to IMDb, Beery (Sr.) challenged Hillie to a drinking contest during the filming, making me wish that contest had been part of the film.)

Based on James Oliver Curwood's 1908 novel The Wolf Hunters, The Trail Beyond features a pretty good script by Lindsley Parsons (Westward Ho, The Oregon Trail, The Utah Trail), and was directed by Robert Bradbury (The Gun Ranger, Stars Over Arizona, Romance of the Rockies).

Not the best film John Wayne made during this period, but certainly not the worst.


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