Directed by David Howard
Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance
John Wayne as Pat Glendon
Jean Rogers as Maude Sangster
Ward Bond as Gus 'Knockout' Carrigan
Tommy Bupp as Tommy
Bryant Washburn as City Editor
Frank Sheridan as Sam Steubner
Harry Woods as 'Ruffhouse' Kelly
Margaret Mann as Ma Blake
Eddie Borden as 'Spider' Welsh
Frank Hagney as Mike Malone
Lloyd Ingraham as Adams, Newspaper City Editor
Pat Glendon is a lumberjack and bare knuckle boxer, who travels from logging town to logging town in the west. There he befriends the lumberjacks of the town, his boxing prowess eventually becomes known, and he fights in boxing matches set up between towns. However, it’s all a scam perpetrated by Gus ‘Knockout’ Carrigan for organized crime back in New York. Glendon throws the fight, and Carrigan makes off with the proceeds from all the people betting for Glendon. This has been the setup for numerous small towns, until Glendon stumbles into Cedar City and winds up saving a runaway orphan named Tommy. Tommy attaches himself to Glendon as his “trainer” and Glendon looks after the boy. The syndicate is also being investigated by a reporter from San Francisco named Maude Sangster. Sangster poses as a social worker as her cover, which quickly leads her into contact with Glendon and Tommy. One thing Sangster wasn’t looking for in Cedar City was romance, but one begins to develop with Glendon. When Carrigan comes to town to act out the scam on Cedar City, Glendon realizes that Tommy and Sangster have awakened his sleeping conscience and he doesn’t want to throw the fight. This doesn’t go over well with Carrigan, who insists on going through with the fight. Will Glendon be able to win the conflict with Carrigan, and the conflict in himself?
Notes: Conflict is based on the novel The Abysmal Brute by Jack London. London’s novel had previously been seen on the screen in the silent movie of the same name in 1928, directed by Hobart Henley and starring Reginald Denny.
This was one of six pictures John Wayne did for Universal studios early in his career, and each one put John Wayne outside of his standard western theme. It is thought that Universal was attempting to try out different venues for Wayne to break him out of the western mold.
Jean Rogers is most fondly remembered for her role as Dale Arden in the 1936 Flash Gordon serials.
Ward Bond starred with John Wayne in several pictures, including The Searchers, Rio Bravo, The Quiet Man and Hondo. It is not surprising that Wayne and Bond starred in so many movies together as they were good friends from playing football together at the University of Southern California.