Two-Fisted Law (1932) Poster

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Excellent cast, generally good dialog, great directing
morrisonhimself27 February 2011
Though there seem to be some script holes, generally this is well written with some very good dialog.

Tim McCoy was one of the best cowboys and was also a pretty good actor.

As noted elsewhere, John Wayne was second billed, but had only a small part. Wallace MacDonald, as his buddy, does more, but his constant use of "y'all" to one person is one of the script's major flaws.

As sheriff, Tully Marshall has one of his best roles. It is well written and very well played.

Alice Day -- billed as "Alice Fay" on the DVD I own, from Canadian Disc Plaza, on a "Classic Westerns" collection of supposedly John Wayne movies -- is the least capable of the cast, but even she brightens up as the story progresses.

Bad guys Wheeler Oakman and Richard Alexander also shone and Walter Brennan, as usual, stood out in one of his early appearances.

Director D. Ross Lederman showed a lot of skill in his framing and camera angles. He was held in high-enough esteem to have stayed busy nearly his entire life with dozens of movies and dozens more TV shows.

I highly recommend "Two-Fisted Law," despite the pointless generic title.
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Saving Little Nell
bkoganbing11 February 2007
Though in the film John Wayne is second billed to star Tim McCoy he actually has very little to do. Wayne is in the unaccustomed role of sidekick.

Wayne and Wallace MacDonald are the last two ranch hands working for Tim McCoy. He's lost is ranch to crooked banker Wheeler Oakman, but being the good boss and friend he is to Wayne and MacDonald he finds them jobs with neighbor and sweetheart Alice Day.

That might be short term employment for Oakman has designs on the ranch and on Day. Those designs on Day ain't covered by the cowboy code.

McCoy goes off prospecting for a couple of years and no sooner is he back than he's framed for an express company holdup and killing resulting from same. The rest of the movie is McCoy's fight to prove his innocence and save Day from a fate worse than death.

Wheeler Oakman seems to be enjoying his role as villain, he's hamming it up in the best Snidely Whiplash tradition. And Day makes a perfect Little Nell.

Tim McCoy, a silent western star, seems to have made the transition to sound easily enough. He's a stern and upright hero who's bound and determined prove his innocence.

Note good performances by Tully Marshall as the father figure sheriff of the area who believes in McCoy and a young Walter Brennan as his less than scrupulous deputy.

My VHS of this film is 58 minutes and I note that the running time is 64 minutes. That might explain some gaps in the story and maybe it was John Wayne who got cut out.

This was the last Columbia movie that John Wayne ever appeared in. It seems as though Harry Cohn thought Wayne was putting the moves on a young starlet who rejected Cohn's advances even though Wayne wasn't involved. But after the Duke became a star and a legend, there wasn't enough money in the world that would get him to appear in a Columbia Studios film.

But realizing this is a B western, it's not the worst one I've ever seen although somehow I doubt we'll ever see a director's cut.
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Good Tim McCoy Western
FightingWesterner17 December 2009
After losing his ranch to a crooked moneylender, Tim McCoy leaves town to become a silver miner, returning some time later with a plan to save a lady friend's ranch and possibly take back his own, only to become a murder suspect.

Although an enjoyable western with a determined performance by McCoy, this is mainly notable for a supporting role featuring John Wayne, who despite having a few starring turns, isn't given anything to do even though he's second billed!

Third billed Walter Brennan fares much better as a corrupt sheriff's deputy.
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Not a bad B-western, but don't watch it for John Wayne...
MartinHafer2 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
If you are a die-hard John Wayne fan and this is why you are watching this film, you are bound to be disappointed. He's in the film but just doesn't have much to do. His personality is practically non-existent---mostly because this is such an early film for Wayne and his B-persona hadn't yet been established. Instead, it's clearly a Tim McCoy starring vehicle--and an adequate one at that. I've seen much better McCoy westerns (he's one of my favorite in this low-budget genre) but it is passably good entertainment.

The film begins with Tim Clark (McCoy) having to give up his ranch. It seems that he's had some business setbacks and the man holding the note to the property is demanding his money now. Having no choice, he leaves and is gone for two years. In the meantime, the baddie, Russell, is now trying to take Betty Owens' ranch as well--or force her to marry him. But, before this evil deed can take place, Clark returns and offers to pay off Betty's debt! And, it just so happens that about the same time McCoy makes this $10,000 payment that the Wells Fargo office is robbed and the clerk is killed. Naturally Clark coming into so much money seemingly out of no where makes everyone suspicious and Russell insists that the nice Sheriff (Tom Tully) arrest Tim. But by the end, naturally, Tim has not only found the real robbers and won the girl--and shown that he is LEGALLY a very wealthy man.

Old western fans will also be pleased to know that Walter Brennan is also in the film. Uncharacteristically, he plays an evil henchman and you may not recognize him at first because he's young AND sounds very different--before he lost his teeth in an accident.
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Fair Western
Michael_Elliott31 July 2016
Two-Fisted Law (1932)

** (out of 4)

Standard "B" Western of its era has Tim McCoy playing a man named Tim who has his family ranch stolen from him by the crooked Bob Russell (Wheeler Oakman).

TWO-FISTED LAW is pretty much like every other "B" Western that was made around this era. It's pretty amazing how many films would deal with a person shot in the back and the wrong person being arrested or some crooked deal that causes someone to lose a ranch. This film here, like most of them, is mildly entertaining but there's no doubt that if you're wanting a classic this here isn't that.

If you're a fan of McCoy then you'll find him charming here as he plays it pretty straight like normal. I would be lying if I said he was one of my favorite cowboy stars from this era but he's at least mildly entertaining. Once again John Wayne and Walter Brennan are here together, although neither one makes that much of an impact. TWO-FISTED LAW has the typical shoot-outs and chases but there's nothing here that separates it from all the rest.
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Energetic horse opera
shakercoola30 July 2019
An American romance film; A story about a rancher who borrows money from an unscrupulous land-grabber, who rustles the rancher's cattle so he will be unable to repay his debt and claim the ranch. The former-rancher becomes a prospector, and then returns to face the crooks. This is a film with zesty performances and a bright script but suffers for its trite dialogue and occasional stiff acting. Tim McCoy plays his part diplomatically and sympathetically which endears with viewer. John Wayne provides youthful support but hardly figures. Wheeler Oakman plays the rotter splendidly.
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McCoy Wayne Give Two Fists From The Two Best
frank412210 July 2019
The charisma of Tim McCoy and John Wayne carried most of this high energy film, even though there's not much script from a very young Duke. The henchmen's henchman Wheeler Oakman takes the film and action by storm from the get go by literally stealing Tim's ranch right out from under him and that's only for starters. He adds insult to injury by going after his girl, bathing beauty Alice Day and her ranch. Great classic actor from the silents and talkies, Tully Marshall is check mated and his deputy, the great Walter Brennan may be playing for the other team. Also great to see Richard Alexander with 307 screen appearances appear with this wonderful cast. I really loved the villains and heroes in this one as they carried the suspense magnificently to the very end.
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Okay Oater
dougdoepke5 August 2015
All in all, it's a decent oater, more plot-heavy than most, but nothing special. Seems Clark's (McCoy) lost his ranch to swindler Russell (Oakman) and now bad guy Russell wants to finagle good girl Betty's (Day) ranch away from her. And if that's not enough, he's also trying to frame Clark for robbery and murder. Plus he's got help from crooked deputy Bendix (Brennan). Good thing Clark's a pretty good sneaky prospector. There's some good hard riding, mostly through familiar LA terrain, but not much fast shooting or flying fists. Mc Coy, of course, makes a good hard-eyed hero, and get a load of that 50-gallon hat that tops anything in movies! And where did they get his absolutely stunning white horse that's the equal of Trigger or Silver in sheer looks. On the other hand, Wayne fans will be disappointed since his screen time is sparse, but already he shows the youthful charisma that Lone Star and Mascot would wisely feature. Still, I could have done with less talk and more scenery and action, but the mix is still enough to keep this now Front Row Geezer happy.
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"A coyote never changes his bark".
classicsoncall7 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Old time Western movie fans get an unexpected treat in this Tim McCoy oater - future A-listers John Wayne and Walter Brennan are both on hand to lend support. Wayne's character goes by the unusual name of 'Duke' - who would have guessed that? Meanwhile Brennan finds himself cast as a villainous sheriff's deputy, coming on screen about the time Wayne disappears from the story.

The opening credits list the name of Kurt Kempler relative to 'Continuity', so I made it a point to see if he did his job or not in regards to the story. As with many of these B Westerns from the Thirties, continuity is one of the last things on anyone's mind during filming and true to form, this one was no exception. For example, right after Tim Clark (McCoy) loses his ranch, he's left with no earthly possessions other than his horse, so he decides to go silver prospecting. A subsequent scene shows him guiding his mount and another pack horse through rough country, followed immediately by another scene in which he's shown riding along with no more pack animal. What happened there?

Here's another one - recall when Tim Clark shows up following the express office robbery, town villain Russell (Wheeler Oakman) remarks on his 'new' bullet wound. Tim was shot in the shoulder a few days earlier and he was wearing a shirt, so how could Russell know he had been shot with no outward appearance of it's effect?

Another instance I got a kick out of occurred when Tim is back at the express office with the sheriff and Russell henchman Zeke Yokum (Richard Alexander). Attempting to sort out clues about the robbery, Tim casually looks down, and there on the floor happens to be a piece of paper with a boot print on it that matches the metal heel mark on Yokum's boot. With the robbery having occurred a couple days earlier, why wouldn't the sheriff or anyone else have noticed it before? At least in Sheriff Malcolm's (Tully Marshall) case, you might chalk it up to old age. At the time of filming, the actor was sixty eight years old and looking every bit of it. You have to wonder why the town couldn't find a younger lawman. And by the way, that boot heel impression on the piece of paper was somewhat laughable, it could have been made by any boot!

But I guess stuff like this didn't matter too much back in the day. These films were churned out in a matter of days and then it was on to the next one. However there was one interesting element here that I found kind of fascinating actually. It was when Tim McCoy took off on his horse after outlaw Russell, and his horse nearly stumbled before catching himself and getting upright again to continue the chase. If I had to guess, the horse might have been auditioning a near fall for a larger part in the next picture.
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Middling programmer
Leofwine_draca20 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
TWO FISTED LAW is a cheapie western from the early 1930s, running barely an hour in length. The hero is Tim McCoy, a one-time cowboy star, although viewers today will better recognise John Wayne as (inevitably) Duke, a good-natured and wholesome cowboy ally. The tale is a familiar one about an evil landowner setting up our hero who has to then fight to clear his name, and there are the usual twists to expect along the way, although not quite as much action as you'd think. Not bad, but definitely middling.
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Some say that every cloud has a silver lining . . .
oscaralbert28 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . but when Tim McCoy's "Tim Clark" looks for his, he finds a gold mine instead. Unfortunately, McCoy has zero charisma, apparently graduating from the Narcoleptic School of Acting. Alice Day, as Tim's girl "Betty," is even worse. Though TWO-FISTED LAW gives John Wayne second billing, there are at least 10 other roles more important than the light-lifting done by his ranch hand "Duke" (and with more lines). Among these is Walter Brennan's crooked deputy Bendix (but every Western fan knows that Brennan's dentures have more acting ability Mr. Tiptoes ever possessed, as well as better line readings). Other than those cast short-comings, the most that can be said of TWO-FISTED LAW is that it simply follows along in the deep ruts cut by all the low-budget Horse Operas of the 1930s Great Depression years. This message is that most if not all Rich People make their fortunes by duping employees into committing robbery, mayhem, and murder at their bidding, and then throwing them under the stagecoach at the first hint of trouble. (Though wealthy Crimelord "Robert Russell" gets some just desserts here, in Real Life the Rich become Red State icons with names such as Koch. (THINGS go better with Koch--NOT people!)
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Single-Black-Male5 February 2004
In 1932, the 25 year old John Wayne went down poverty row with the independent production companies. In this film, he developed his fist fight scenarios, adding a bit of humour to his acting as well as drawing out his romantic side.
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