Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

OVERLOOKED FILM: HAIR-TRIGGER CASEY (1936)

Jack Perrin's career as a western hero was on its deep down-hill slide by the time he starred as Border Patrol Captain Jim "Hair-Trigger" Casey in this low-budget oater.   For most of the Twenties he eked a living working for the ultra-low budget companies.  Then, at the end of the decade Perrin moved to Columbia to star in a series of Canadian Mountie pictures.  His fortunes did not last with the advent of the talkies and he soon sank down to the bottom feeders of the Hollywood industry.  From 1936 through 1962 he appeared in over 180 films in uncredited roles.  Beginning in 1952 Perrin appeared in various episode of 39 television series, also in uncredited roles.  Basically he went from movie star to extra.

When one of his ranch hands is murdered, Jim Casey goes home on leave to investigate and finds that his ranch foreman has been involved in smuggling Chinese into the country.  Backed by a well-known cast, Hair-Trigger Casey swerves between action and boredom throughout its 56-minute run time.

Backing up Perrin is Starlight the Wonder Horse, who "acted" in 82 films from 1921 to 1936.  The two-legged cast includes Betty Mack (perhaps best known as a Mack Sennett and Three Stooges foil) as the obligatory female, Ed Cassidy (Alias Billy the Kid, Son of Zorro) as the villainous human trafficker, Fred Toones (once again as his well-known comic Black foil "Snowflake"), western regular Hal Taliaferro (Red River, The Yellow Rose of Texas) this time acting under the name of "Wally Wales," Robert Walker (Phantom of the Desert, West of Cheyenne), former vaudevillian Phil Dunham (Kiss Me Kate, Robin Hood, Jr.), Dennis Moore ("Smokey" Moore in the Lone Rider series and "Denny Moore" in the Range Buster series), and Victor Wong (King Kong, Son of Kong) as the vengeance-seeking Chinese.

The man to blame for this film was Harry L. Fraser, who directed this as one of his more than four score motion pictures from 1925 to 1952.  Fraser also provided the story (under the pseudonym "Monroe Talbot") and the screenplay (under the pseudonym "Weston Edwards).

The one review included at the bottom of the link was less than stellar.  My own opinion is somewhat kinder.  Decide for yourself.



https://archive.org/details/Hair-TriggerCasey

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