The Range Feud (1931) Poster

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Range "Fued"?
beejer12 August 1999
Competent little "B" oater with Buck Jones as the heroic sheriff and John Wayne as his friend falsely accused of murder. When you see Harry Wood's name in the cast, it doesn't take long to figure out who is behind all the rustling and killing.

This was one of the Duke's first westerns following "The Big Trail"(1930). It was the beginning of a long apprenticeship in the "B" western field. His parts became increasingly smaller in the balance of his work for Columbia due to a conflict with the legendary Harry Cohn, Head of the studio.

On the video release issued by Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video notice the title card at the beginning. It gives the title as Range Fued. How did that one ever get by the quality control people?
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The Duke's Neck Almost Gets Stretched
bkoganbing1 July 2006
Young John Wayne appears in support of Buck Jones in Range Feud as a the son and heir of a couple of feuding ranch families. Seems as though the patriarch of the other clan is shot in the back shortly after Wayne came courting on Susan Fleming who is the daughter of the deceased.

There's someone who's mighty interested in keeping a range feud going between the two families, a guy who's been rustling from both families and laying the blame on the other. It's up to the sheriff, played by Buck Jones to figure it out and prevent a miscarriage of justice.

Buck Jones had a strong screen presence and a very good speaking voice for sound. He apparently made the transition to sound with ease. This was the first time I'd ever seen one of his films and I could tell why he was a success as a cowboy hero.

Although there's not much suspense here, you pretty much figure out who's the real villain in the first few moments of the film, still for western fans it's got all the ingredients, riding, fighting, shooting, and the prerequisite ending.

And it's an opportunity to see a very callow John Wayne in support of another cowboy hero.
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"If there's any hanging to be done, I'll take care of it."
classicsoncall10 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In the opening scene, a church notice states that a "Peace Meeting" will be held on Friday at 7:30 P.M. Right after the meeting ends, as sheriff Buck Gordon (Buck Jones) accompanies Dad Turner (Will Walling) to Charlie's Saloon, Dad states that it's Sunday!

"Range Feud" was much better than I was expecting. Seeing veteran Buck Jones with up and comer John Wayne is reason enough to catch this flick, but the story itself winds up being pretty decent as well, even for an oater from the early 1930's. Up to this point, Wayne had already appeared in about two dozen films, but mostly in uncredited or bit parts, so seeing him share almost equal screen time with cowboy legend Jones must have been a great feeling for him.

In the story, Gordon is the sheriff of a small town, raised as an adopted son by rancher Dad Turner. Clint (Wayne) is Turner's other son, visually a good deal younger than Buck. In actuality, at the time of the film's release, Buck was forty two and Wayne was twenty four.

Gordon establishes his presence in the film early, he stands for nothing short of strict law and order, and finds himself right in the middle of a simmering feud between Dad and rancher Walton (Ed LeSaint). When Buck sides with Walton's claim over ownership of a parcel of land that he intends to restrict the grazing rights on, Dad Turner is ready to disown him.

The thought just struck me that in virtually every 'B' Western featuring a romantic interest, it turns out that she's the only girl in town. In this case, Judy Walton (Susan Fleming) intends to marry Clint Turner, but first she'll have to deal with her father's murder, Clint's frame up, the quick trial and the sentence imposed on her fiancée - death by hanging. Well, you know the formula, Buck figures it all out in due course and saves his pal, with your standard horse chases and shoot outs in between. The main bad guy pulling the strings behind the scenes is appropriately named Vandall (Harry Woods).

There are a couple of unusual scenes to keep your eye on in the picture. When Buck first arrests Clint and puts him in jail, he forgets to take his gun. Later, when a posse comes to hang Clint, he turns to the deputy and says "Here's a good hat I won't be needin' Jack."

It's too bad this was the only screen pairing of Buck Jones and John Wayne. It came only a couple of years prior to Wayne landing more than a dozen lead roles over at Lone Star Pictures, where he would be joined on and off by Gabby Hayes and Yakima Canutt. "Range Feud" would have been right at home among them, though probably a tad better than most of those flicks.

Though by no means rare, it might be tough getting your hands on a copy of this movie. I was lucky to pick it up as a double feature DVD with another Wayne film. It was worth every penny just to see all those little horseshoes on Buck Jones' shirt.
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Buck Jones and John Wayne, two generations of cowboys
tmwest13 December 2011
This film is worth seeing, first because of Buck Jones, who is quite good, in my opinion he is the best of the cowboys of the 30's. Also because of John Wayne, for a change playing the young guy, eventually in most of Wayne's film his character would be more like Buck's, but it is fun seeing him in the part that would be equivalent to James Caan in Eldorado or Ricky Nelson in Rio Bravo. The sizes of the hats worn in the film are quite larger than what we are used to see. Also the dresses worn by Susan Fleming look more like dresses worn in the thirties than at the time the story of the film takes place. The fistfight scenes also look speed up and without noise. But one thing you can say about the film: you don't get bored seeing it. But the title of the film you see at the beginning: "Range Feud" ???? Where did they get this name???
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Competent little "B" oater
lge-946-22548710 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
That phrase (above) by another reviewer summed it up so well, I used it as my summary.

I first saw Buck Jones movies on the Internet Archive (, and I generally like his flicks -- especially "Shadow Ranch," a nifty little unconventional Western.

This movie was made in 1931, so it's a little less sophisticated (plot-wise and acting-wise) than later Westerns might be. Occasionally an actor will deliver a line in a sort of melodramatic, "Perils of Pauline" manner.

But for the most part, it's a good job done by all. John Wayne especially has a natural, winning manner, never melodramatic. The female love-interest, too, gave a good, natural performance, as well as Buck Jones.

One thing puzzled me -- at one point the heroine goes into a back room, then comes out and says (approximately), "I just called the doctor, and he'll be over soon." Was that a clinker by the writers, indicating she used a telephone? I don't think this movie is intended to be in that "cusp" period, 1890's or so. (When DID telephones appear?)

One thing I heard differently from another reviewer -- after the "peace service," the man says it's NOT Sunday. He says, there's no reason he shouldn't go to the saloon, because it's not Sunday. Though the version is pretty choppy, and it's easy to miss a word.

All in all, not the most exciting Western ever to come down the dusty road, but good solid viewing at a good Luby's price (so to speak).

Spoiler: the Duke is innocent.
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A nice little B-western
MartinHafer16 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Most people today don't realize that for over a decade, John Wayne appeared mostly in cheaply made B-westerns. While none of John Wayne's Bs from the 1930s are great, they were, by and large, very enjoyable and provided a lot of entertainment---all within a tightly written an hour. Although Wayne DID star in a major film early in his career ("The Big Trail"), because of the film's failure he was soon cast as a sidekick--with stars such as Tim McCoy and Buck Jones. But, because of his great screen presence, within two years, he was starring in his own Bs.

"Range Feud" is one of those films made between "The Big Trail" and Wayne's starring Bs. In this movie, he is Buck Jones' sidekick--and clearly he is the subordinate in the plot and spends much of the film in jail--in other words, not doing much of anything through the middle of the film. BUT, for Wayne fans this isn't all bad, as the movie IS more interesting than the average Wayne movie and I just found it exciting to watch him hone his craft and play a role with which we aren't terribly familiar.

The plot isn't the most original I've seen. It concerns two bosses of rival ranches--a common theme (such as in "The Big Country") but how it was handled was uncommon. See the film to see what I mean--and to discover how Wayne's character is convicted of murder!!

By the way, the opening credits appear to have been added later...and by an idiot. That's because they misspelled the name of the movie! See what I mean when the film begins and it reads "Range Feud".
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Wonderful Buck and Duke Western
frank412222 May 2019
Buck Jones sets the stage from the get go with, "I represent the law of man. The law of God is the law of man, but that law has been abused" He has no less than John Wayne in his sights. And the Duke has gorgeous 'Million Dollar Legs' Ziegfeld Girl, Susan Fleming in his sights. But the big show is between Dad Turner, played by Will Walling and the stately Edward LeSaint in the cattle rustling war. Now the 'all time meanest villain' Harry Woods may have a hand in this, go figure. Buck Jones and John Wayne play great together in this early western that can't be missed.
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Just Another John Wayne B Classic
corbidun8 December 2018
I love John Wayne's B-movies more than his later work, so this film was just another check-off on the list of movies I'd put on in the background while I'm editing. However, this movie has a more gripping story than many other of the films I've seen, so at the least give this film a chance.
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Typical B Western with Early Wayne Role
Michael_Elliott25 July 2016
The Range Feud (1931)

** (out of 4)

Standard "B" Western has Buck Jones playing Sheriff Buck Gordon who finds himself in the middle of rival families battling over land. Soon Clint Turner (John Wayne) is accused of killing the father of the rival family and Buck must race to try and clear his name.

THE RANGE Feud really isn't any different than countless of other Westerns that were made during this era. Heck, even by 1931 standards the film is pretty old-fashioned and using clichéd tricks that went out of style in the silent era. With that said, the film will contain a little interest thanks in large part to Wayne having a small role. While the film is mildly entertaining in its own way, can you really say people would be watching it today if it wasn't for Wayne?

The biggest problem is the fact that this is pretty much like any other cheap Western. The filmmaking is "good" enough to get a decent looking film on the screen. The story is your typical Romero and Juliet type of story dealing with a rivalry and murder. Jones makes for a good lead and I thought Wayne was pretty good in his small role. What else can really be said? If you're a fan of these types of films then it's worth watching.
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"Range Feud" is a Good Buck Jones B-Western from 1931
glennstenb15 February 2020
"Range Feud" comes to us from 1931, when Buck Jones was perhaps the strongest of the B-western heroes and when John Wayne was trying to gain a consistent presence in Hollywood. It is as if Wayne was cast here to test his appeal to B-western audiences as one more top-billed hero, of which at the time there were many. Although John Wayne's character is central to why we are all watching this film, Wayne doesn't actually have a lot to do in this film (he spends considerable time in the jailhouse or laying low), but he does a credible job when asked to contribute to the strong dramatics and pathos in this serious film.

But this is a Buck Jones show and Buck turns in another powerful performance as a determined and stoic lawman faced with choices that are not always merely either good or bad. The story of two camps of good people needing to take a stand on life-impacting issues that clearly are seen differently by them is well developed and told in such a way that the viewer also takes a stand; however, the viewer comes to realize before long that further evaluation may be demanded as the movie's expository process unfolds.

Director Sam Newfield pries some effective performances from the cast in a production that seems to have given him the luxury of time to do so. In the coming decades Newfield would grind out countless more westerns, but time and budget constraints usually limited his movies to lots of action but weak to so-so story development. But here, in this one, story is paramount and action is used to illustrate or even punctuate the story. This is one reason why Buck Jones has such an aura of mythic hero about him to this day... he looks like the perfect Western hero, acts like it, too, and seems to always find himself in powerful situations and stories that befit his persona. It is a shame that more Buck movies from the 1930's are not more readily available.
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Short and snappy
Leofwine_draca13 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
THE RANGE FEUD is a short and snappy early western featuring John Wayne, playing more of a supporting role in his own movie. It's brief and to the point, but it does have enough plot to keep you watching so it's never slow or boring. The tale is of star-crossed lovers and betrayal, with a master villain running rings around the stupid townsfolk and upstanding youth having to step up to tackle him. Wayne is good value, but then most of the cast are pretty good here and the climax works out neatly.
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Routine B-movie Western with a Romeo and Juliet subplot
shakercoola28 July 2019
An American Western; A story about a range war between two families. A sheriff investigates to clear an innocent man accused of the murder of one of the head of one of the families. The complication is that the man accused is his half-brother, son of his own step-father, the head of the other family. This assembly-line B movie feature has a shorter running time. It is competently written but thinly plotted. It offers the usual fistfight action and horse chases, and a romance without much substance. The performances are above par with Buck Jones playing the sheriff with commanding presence. John Wayne gives good support as the young buck.
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Very enjoyable!
JohnHowardReid25 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
SYNOPSIS: Sheriff tries to keep peace between two warring cattlemen. COMMENT: We have John Wayne's popularity to thank for the video release of this unusual item. (A good print too). I have remarked before that all Buck Jones' films are worth seeing and that many of them are quite unusual. Range Feud bears out that statement. What other westerns can you cite that start right off in a church? What other early sound westerns are so gripping and make such astoundingly smooth use of sharp editing and cross-cutting and pacily employ such realistic sound effects that the complete absence of background music is undetectable? What other westerns have such a grittily realistic mood and atmosphere? And in what other westerns can you find John Wayne playing the romantic lead but not the hero?

It's hard to believe that this often stylishly directed piece had any connection with the usually pedestrian D. Ross Lederman. Or that a movie of such expertise could lie forgotten for so long in Hollywood vaults. For instance, Don Miller mentions the movie only in passing (because of Wayne's subsidiary role) in his marvelous book Hollywood Corral.
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The version of this flick I'm reviewing . . .
oscaralbert1 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . is titled THE RANGE FU3D, and is included on a Disc Plaza Entertainment "Made in Canada" product labeled "John Wayne Movie Collectibles, Volume One." Besides RANGE FU3D, Vol. 1 includes THE LAWLESS RANGE, TWO FISTED LAW, and THE LUCKY TEXAN (all crammed onto a single DVD with NO Special Feature Extra Bonuses--not so much as a theatrical trailer or still photo gallery). Since I'd already seen these latter three Wayne films on professionally produced American home entertainment offerings, I did NOT try to sit through an inferior Canadian version of them (which I assume sported title cards reading THE BRALESS RANGE, TWO FISTED AWL, and THE DUCKY EXMAN). When Disc Plaza's clowns at "Cascadia Labs" threw FU3D into their Volume One, they forgot to include the original music soundtrack (except for 16 seconds at the very beginning and 13 at the end). Also missing is Mr. Wayne's hanging, which seems to be the whole point of this story. Somehow, the picture goes out-of-frame at the key moment, after the Duck has been Noosed for his Final Dance. Disc Plaza omits a release year on its Volume One package, but I have a hunch that Vol. 2 is due out any day now. Then perhaps we'll see such Wayne titles as RIDERS OF TIFFANY, KING OF THE PECAN, THE LONELY TAIL, and WINDS OF THE WAISTBAND.
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the quiet oldster who finds a patch
Cristi_Ciopron24 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The open range, range war, rustling oppose two families, threats are uttered, one of the landowners is killed; the town's sheriff, played by Jones (already wearing a suit), should have to solve a murder case (but the only step he takes, as a lawman, is imprisoning Clint and waiting), and there is something to understand. As has been observed by others, Jones had, despite his proletarian look, a largely unmanly, affected acting style, he had the looks of a Gabin or a Cagney, but a strong bad taste in acting. Wayne plays one of his '30s naives. A nicer script would of required from the sheriff to compensate Clint's defenselessness by his own knowledge and wit; but this sheriff is just angry and prostrate by turns. But it might be subtler than that: beyond the sermonize-rs' ineffectiveness, with the mob who cheers the sheriff's burst of anger, there is another, quiet world, such as that of Clint's dad and of the oldster who finds a clue after the rustled cattle has been set free.

The sheriff beats someone who dared to doubt his integrity. This is meant to express his inner turmoil and unbalance, but comes across as silly. (On the other hand, the sheriff was right in his choice of a victim.) The world of the sermonize-rs and the cheering mob, eager for a fight, and the quiet world, of the people who actually think; this pair is in the movie. There is a fine take with Clint's dad, after both Clint and the sheriff have left, the 1st running away, and the 2nd chasing him. The dad, standing near the door, tired of his own grit and anger, throws his weapon.

As a footnote only, 'The Feud' is cathartic, it has been so for me, not uplifting, but cleansing, so it did me good.

In his early talkies, Jones was knocked down, it happens in an earlier vehicle, where his white horse brings the girl (after they have found the missing cattle, and Jones chased the outlaws), it happens here. His character (a drifter there, a sheriff and a man of the place, here) is shown as brave and impulsive, but not quiet and shrewd, nor resourceful or witty; instead, more of an everyman, a proletarian, streetwise in an earlier vehicle, sententious in this one, plus the affected and overacted, over-expressed side. But Jones did have something striking, as opposed to the supposed blandness of other western actors. He didn't always use that strength. He indulged in impersonating silent movie stars, or his own idea of them. The scripts of his westerns have some dramatic interest.

A common trait of 'Range Feud' and 'Shadow Ranch' are, beside the social fights of the deep, grassroots pastoral world, the likable bit players, such as both ranchers in this one (but especially Clint's dad), or, here, the cattle seller, who has been called to establish the provenience of the disputed cattle. They root the storyline.

Wayne had a loose, playful, somewhat boyish style.

As another footnote, this time to the genre: Jones was overacting (yet much of what he was doing was intriguing, despite his very wrong idea of what a cowman should be like), Wayne had a generic playfulness (as a serene country lad, sure of his good looks, and there is a large stream of underplayed irony in his early roles, perhaps a kind of a superiority complex, as he felt superior to what he was doing, or to what he has been given to act), Steele was self-conscientious sometimes, but efficiently humorous when needed, Ritter played his own quiet charm, even unto that undertone of eeriness and honest self-confidence of a fairy tale character (hence, the most intriguingly folkloric of them all), a singer who seems mundane and earthly yet comes across as wholly folkloric.
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