THE HARLEM BAD-MAN GOES WEST!
Year of Release: 1938
Runtime: 66 mins.
Black & White
Studio: Merit Pictures
Producer: Richard C. Kahn & Alfred N. Sack
Director: Richard C. Kahn
Herbert Jeffrey a/k/a Herb Jeffries (Bob Blake/The Deacon)
Margaret Whitten (Sally Thompson)
Clarence Brooks (John Barker)
Mantan Moreland (Bill)
Matthew ‘Stymie’ Beard (Jimmy Thompson)
Spencer Williams, Jr. (Butch Carter)
Mae Turner (Ruth Steel)
Jesse Lee Brooks (The Sheriff)
Rosalie Lincoln (Dolores)
Tom Southern (John Steel)
The Cats and the Fiddle The Four Tones
After hanging out with friends and later spending time with pretty Sally Thompson and her talkative young brother Jimmy, Bob Blake returns to John Steel’s Wyoming ranch, where he works as a cowboy.
At the ranch, Bob discovers that Steel has been murdered by a man with whom his wife Ruth was having an affair, and whom she refuses to name. As Bob inspects the body, Ruth substitutes her lover’s gun with Bob’s, and Bob subsequently is accused of the crime by the sheriff. During the sheriff’s interrogation, Bob’s friend Bill, the ranch cook, turns off the lights, Bob hides, and the sheriff, believing that Bob has escaped, rides off with his men.
Once alone with Bob, Ruth confesses to framing him and insists that he leave the area to avoid arrest.
Bob hitchhikes across the country and eventually arrives in Harlem, where he meets a man known as The Deacon, a killer who was once a preacher and who Bob greatly resembles.
Bob gets the idea to assume a new identity and return to Wyoming disguised as a church elder in order to clear his name. Bob, now known as The Deacon, allies himself with Butch Carter. Carter, a miner who has been paid by the well-to-do John Barker, to kidnap and murder Ruth as she knows that Barker killed her husband.
Carter rides to Sally’s ranch, where he forces himself on her. Bob, who has been told by Jimmy that Sally is being pressured into marrying Barker to avoid foreclosure on their father’s ranch, saves Sally from Carter’s advances.
Bob cleverly cons Carter into paying Sally two thousand dollars, which she happily gives to Barker to pay off her father’s loan.Soon after, Bob fights with Barker and confers with an angry Ruth, who has been locked in a shed by Carter. While Jimmy rushes to find the sheriff at Bob’s request, Barker and Carter plot to get rid of The Deacon. They converge on the old mine where Bob has taken Sally for protection. While Bob fights with Barker, Bill uses his trusty frying pan to save his friend from Barker’s hired gunman.
Just as the sheriff arrives, Bob overwhelms Barker and takes the lawman to Ruth, who finally exposes Barker as her husband’s killer. Bob’s true identity is revealed and he leaves with a smitten Sally.
Source(s): Turner Classic Movies; YouTube.