Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Cast: Tim McCoy as 'Texas' Grant
Shirley Grey as Helen Rawlings
Wheeler Oakman as Utah Becker
John Wayne as Steve Pickett
Wallace MacDonald as Nick Lawler
Jim Farley as Webb Oliver
Harry Cording as Jake Farwell
Vernon Dent as Hefty
Walter Brennan as Sheriff Lew Collins
Mary Gordon as Katie
Five years after respected rancher Jim Rawlins went missing and is perceived to be dead, in walks a man named ‘Texas’ who bears a striking resemblance to the missing man. Everyone in town mistakes Texas for Jim, and Texas is quite bewildered by it all. He goes to the saloon and talks to the bartender, Hefty, and tries to explain the situation. Hefty tells Texas about Jim who, in addition to being an influential rancher, also kept a check on the bad elements in the small town of Stampede . These criminal elements have gotten much worse in the past five years, and Hefty suggests that Texas pretend to be Jim to help the town. Texas agrees and scarcely has he done so when he becomes the target of a knife attack and an attempt to shoot him in the back. Defeating these attempts on his life, he travels to “his” ranch, the Diamond R, and stuns Helena Rawlins, who faints at the sight of seeing her long lost husband return. In private, Texas confesses that he is not Jim, but is pretending to be to help the town. Helena agrees to continue the ruse, as she has some problems of her own. Some of her ranch hands are in cahoots with Utah Becker, the owner of the Red Dog Saloon, and they are rustling her cattle. She has been afraid to confront them by herself, but with Texas’ help she sends the double-dealing ranch hands packing. There has been one ranch hand that has remained honest and true, Steve Pickett, and Helena keeps him on. When Texas returns to town he is confronted by Beckett, who is none too happy to see his old nemesis back in town. Texas doesn’t back down from Beckett’s tough talk and calls his bluff. Beckett retreats for the time being, and Texas goes to the telegraph office to request assistance from a friend he knows in Texas. Returning to the ranch, Texas catches the corrupt ranch hands stealing cattle red-handed and is forced to gun them down when they try to fight back. However, Texas is wounded as well, but his horse Pal is able to get him to the ranch house where Helena calls for the local doctor and helps him heal. Shortly thereafter, Beckett again confronts Texas, telling him to leave town, but Texas turns the tables on Beckett, capturing him and taking him to the territory sheriff, Lew Collins. Collins calls a meeting of all the townsfolk, and tells Beckett and his gang to clear out of town for good. The town’s efforts to expel Beckett are backed up by Texas’ companions who arrive to assist. Texas’ ruse comes out in the town meeting, and Beckett uses the information against him, claiming that Texas is taking advantage of Helena, and challenges him to a duel. Texas accepts, but Beckett has no intention of fighting honorably and posts one of his henchmen to ambush Texas. Texas defeats them both, but not before being wounded again as well. As a side effect from the wounds, Texas recovers from amnesia, and remembers that he really is Jim, and he had received amnesia from a previous altercation with Beckett five years ago. Helena is overjoyed and takes her husband home to the Diamond R to recover. Notes:
This early in John Wayne’s career he had not yet achieved star status even in B-Westerns and appears as a sidekick to Tim McCoy.
This is one of two movies that John Wayne appears in with Tim McCoy. The other one is Two-Fisted Law, also directed by D. Ross Lederman, both written by William Coit McDonald, and both had a whole lot of the same cast members.
This is the first movie in which John Wayne and Walter Brennan star together. Walter Brennan had to be made up to look older for playing the role of a Sherriff in this film.
Texas Cyclone was remade by Columbia Pictures in 1937 as One Man Justice.