Tom Tyler Double Feature Collection [5 Discs] [DVD]

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Silent Valley
Brothers of the West
Even for a Sam Katzman production, the 1937 Tom Tyler western Brothers of the West is remarkably tacky. The steely-eyed Tyler appears in his usual guise of Tom Wade, troubleshooter for the Cattlemen's Protective Agency. He spends most of the film trying to extricate his younger brother Ed (Bob Terry) from the influence of cattle rustler Tracy (Roger Williams). In one deathless (and probably ad-libbed) scene, Tom and heroine Celia (Lois Wilde) are searching the villain's cabin for clues when Tom's horse whinnies plaintively. "Wait a minute", whispers Tom "There's someone out there spying on us. That was my horse?he always tips me off." Producer Katzman also directed, so he had only himself to blame. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Single-Handed Sanders
Tom Tyler is Singlehanded Sanders in this economical Monogram oater. Tyler plays a small-town blacksmith, whose reckless younger brother casts his lot with a crooked politician. When brother dear steals $5000 from heroine Margaret Morris, Tyler gallantly confesses to the deed. He eventually clears himself by rallying his fellow frontiersmen to form a united front against the villains (guess he's not so "single-handed" after all). Singlehanded Sanders was directed by Charles A. Post, previously the production manager for the Tom Tyler unit. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Fast Bullets
Stuffed dummies on horseback manage to fool a gang of munitions smugglers in this farfetched low-budget Western from the Reliable company. Tom Tyler stars as a Texas ranger going undercover to infiltrate the aforementioned gang, which is lead by nasty Travis (Al Bridge). The outlaw, however, learns of the ranger's subterfuge and orders him killed. Luckily, Tom's associate, Jimmy (Rex Lease), manages to get help from the ranger captain (William Gould) and the stuffed dummies are send in ahead of the rescue team. Using subterfuge, Travis escapes with Jimmy's blond sister, Joan (Margaret Nearing), but is eventually tracked down by Tom. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Orphan of the Pecos
Orphan of the Pecos is one of the eight Tom Tyler westerns produced by Victory Pictures during the 1937-38 season. Victory was owned by legendary fast-buck entrepreneur Sam Katzman, who also directed this particular film. Tyler is cast as Tom Wade, an agent of the Cattlemen's Protection Agency; this time, he's after the man who killed his parents. Like most of the Victory productions, Orphan of the Pecos has a script seemingly made up on the spur of the moment, compelling Tyler to mouth some bizarre ad-libs. Tom Tyler was seen to better advantage in later years as a character actor and villain in both westerns and contemporary films. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Honor of the Mounted
Tall, steely-eyed Tom Tyler makes a physically impressive RCMP officer in Honor of the Mounted. Tyler manages to "get his man" early in the proceedings, only to lose him immediately when he's knocked unconscious in a fall. After a treacherous canoe trip down the rapids, our hero catches up with the villain (Stanley Blystone), but again the scoundrel slips through his fingers. This goes on for several more reels until the bad guy is finally vanquished. Excellent photography and well-chosen locations are the most tangible assets of this "northern western." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Laramie Kid
From small-scale Reliable Pictures, The Laramie Kid starred the strapping Tom Tyler as a cowboy returning home to help his girlfriend (Alberta Vaughn) save her ranch from a ruthless usurper. Promising the girl to blast the town wide open in order to get the necessary funds, Tyler soon finds himself unjustly accused of robbing the local bank. While Tyler is away in prison, Vaughn discovers evidence of his innocence, and rather than have the girl face the real culprit alone, our hero makes a daring escape. Produced and directed by Harry S. Webb, The Laramie Kid is typical of the era's better independently-made horse operas: technically crude but consisting of nary a dull moment. Tyler makes a strapping hero and an august cast that also includes Al Ferguson, Murdock MacQuarrie, George Chesebro and, for comedy purposes, Snub Pollard keep interest alive throughout. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Santa Fe Bound
Tom Tyler ground out 19 starring westerns for Reliable Pictures in the mid-1930s, of which Santa Fe Bound is neither the best nor worst. "Our Tom" (as he was known in the trade papers) comes to the aid of heroine Molly Bates (Jeanne Martel), who is in danger of losing her ranch to the villains. Since the chief heavy is played by Richard Cramer, possessor of one of the meanest faces in the movies, it's obvious that Tyler really has his work cut out for him this time. In addition, our hero has been entrusted with a great deal of money by Bate's banker father, a fact that leads the girl to assume that Tyler has stolen the cash. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise when Tyler, posing as an outlaw, infiltrates Cramer's criminal gang. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Trigger Tom
Lost Ranch
Cheapie king Sam Katzman was both producer and director of the Tom Tyler western The Lost Ranch. "Our Tom" essays his customary role of Tom Wade, troubleshooter for the Cattlemen's Protective Association. When cattle rancher Carroll (Lafe McKee) is captured by outlaws, Carroll's daugther Rita (Jeanne Martel) inaugurates a search. At first convinced that Wade himself is one of the villains, Rita finally wises up and allows him to join the search-and, of course, to rout the villains in the final footage. Billed third in Lost Ranch is former Mack Sennett leading lady Marjorie Beebe, essaying yet another wisecracking comedy role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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