The Last Outlaw (1936)

72-73 mins | Western | 19 June 1936

Director:

Christy Cabanne

Cinematographer:

Jack MacKenzie

Editor:

George Hively

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Last of the Bad Men . HR production charts add Jimmy Burtis , Bentley Hewlett, Alan Curtis, Ethel Wales, Montague Shaw , Harry Depp and Pardner Jones, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Many reviewers commented on the film's "updating" of standard western plot devices and its mixture of western and gangster ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Last of the Bad Men . HR production charts add Jimmy Burtis , Bentley Hewlett, Alan Curtis, Ethel Wales, Montague Shaw , Harry Depp and Pardner Jones, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Many reviewers commented on the film's "updating" of standard western plot devices and its mixture of western and gangster motifs. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 May 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Jun 36
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
18 May 36
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Apr 36
p. 45.
Motion Picture Herald
30 May 36
p. 41.
New York Times
15 Jun 36
p. 24.
Variety
17 Jun 36
p. 23.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Last of the Bad Men
Release Date:
19 June 1936
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 12 June 1936
Production Date:
2 April--late April 1936
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 June 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6421
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
72-73
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2208
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After serving twenty-five years in prison, reformed "Wild West" bank robber Dean Payton receives a gubernatorial pardon and is released. Upon leaving prison, Dean returns to his favorite town, which is now a bustling Western city, and looks up Calvin Yates, the sheriff responsible for his capture and later for his pardon. While waiting to see Calvin, who has been demoted to Under Sheriff, Dean meets Sally Mason, whose adopted father, Dr. Charles Mason, is another friend from the "old days." Later, Dean learns that Sally is actually his own daughter who was adopted by Mason after Dean's wife died. Overwhelmed by the hectic, noisy atmosphere of the city, Dean finds a "back room" poker game, which is being observed by Chuck Wilson, a local rancher. When Chuck accuses a cardsharp of dealing "off the bottom" and cheating Dean, a brawl, inflamed by the feisty Dean, ensues. Afterward, Dean takes Chuck to have his black eye treated by Mason and introduces him to Sally in the hope that she will lose her interest in Arthur Billings, the pompous "new style" sheriff. Dean, Sally, Mason and Chuck then go to see The Heart of the Plains , a western movie whose noisy soundtrack and singing cowboy star both amaze and repel Dean. After spending a day at Chuck's ranch with Dean, Sally and her father are called to treat a gunshot patient who is part of a gang of robbers headed by Al Goss. Sure that Sally and Mason will expose the gang to the police, Al shoots Mason, takes Sally hostage and robs a bank. During the subsequent car chase with ... +


After serving twenty-five years in prison, reformed "Wild West" bank robber Dean Payton receives a gubernatorial pardon and is released. Upon leaving prison, Dean returns to his favorite town, which is now a bustling Western city, and looks up Calvin Yates, the sheriff responsible for his capture and later for his pardon. While waiting to see Calvin, who has been demoted to Under Sheriff, Dean meets Sally Mason, whose adopted father, Dr. Charles Mason, is another friend from the "old days." Later, Dean learns that Sally is actually his own daughter who was adopted by Mason after Dean's wife died. Overwhelmed by the hectic, noisy atmosphere of the city, Dean finds a "back room" poker game, which is being observed by Chuck Wilson, a local rancher. When Chuck accuses a cardsharp of dealing "off the bottom" and cheating Dean, a brawl, inflamed by the feisty Dean, ensues. Afterward, Dean takes Chuck to have his black eye treated by Mason and introduces him to Sally in the hope that she will lose her interest in Arthur Billings, the pompous "new style" sheriff. Dean, Sally, Mason and Chuck then go to see The Heart of the Plains , a western movie whose noisy soundtrack and singing cowboy star both amaze and repel Dean. After spending a day at Chuck's ranch with Dean, Sally and her father are called to treat a gunshot patient who is part of a gang of robbers headed by Al Goss. Sure that Sally and Mason will expose the gang to the police, Al shoots Mason, takes Sally hostage and robs a bank. During the subsequent car chase with police, Dean is arrested and the gang escapes with Sally. While the inept Sheriff Billings uses "modern" methods to capture the gangsters, Dean, who has been released from jail by Calvin, relies on his past experiences to track down and outsmart them. Aided by Calvin and Chuck on horseback, Dean eventually overwhelms the gang in the same "back hills" cabin where Calvin had captured him years before, and rescues Sally, who then learns that Dean is her real father. Now the local hero, Calvin announces that he is putting Dean on the sheriff's payroll, while Sally and Chuck seal their love with a kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.