Lucky Terror (1936) Poster


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Okay, Not Too Memorable Though
FightingWesterner29 April 2010
Hoot Gibson is accosted by a man desperate to get away from a group of trigger-happy gunmen. Before he gets a chance to switch horses with Hoot, he falls from a cliff. Hoot then attempts to sort out the situation by joining a medicine show featuring the dead man's niece, learning that the he was a local miner pursued by thieves who want his sacks of gold.

Lucky Terror is a typical Saturday matinée western, but it's pleasant enough entertainment, with a likable performance by Gibson, some decent rocky scenery, and a scene-stealing appearance by the usually villainous Charles King, who plays an incompetent, liquored up lawyer that has to be bailed out of jail in order to represent Hoot. Leading lady Lona Andre is quite attractive too.

Action scenes are a little so-so, with Gibson's character not as rough and tumble this time around. He's a great shot though.
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don't downgrade this due to it's age
KDWms25 April 2003
In addition to deserving the "western" moniker, this film has that plentiful 20s and 30s kind of humor which appeals to me. Hoot's role is as Lucky Carson, who, at the outset, gets involved in the chase of miner Jim Thornton by Bat Molton and his buddies, who seek the gold which Jim has in his saddlebags. As Jim is swapping a few things to look like Lucky, thereby increasing Jim's chance to elude his pursuers, Jim accidentally falls to his death. Lucky discovers - and hides - the dust, then meets up with a medicine show, which he joins in the capacity of "trick shot". Although the villains suspect it, Lucky denies knowledge of the booty; therefore, the bad guys suggest to the local sheriff that Lucky is responsible for Jim's demise, of which Lucky is acquitted. Lucky's lawyer and the lawman are quite hilarious. Also in the show is Jim's niece, Ann, who inherits the mine, and who, Lucky figures, is the rightful owner of the ore. While trying to get it to her, the gang butts in again, which provides the flick's finale. How prejudiced of me to - because of the film's age - refrain from grading it even higher.
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"How do you do, mystery cowman?"
classicsoncall25 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Lucky Terror" is a bit unusual for a 'B' Western, with elements I haven't seen before that keep it interesting for it's entire sixty one minute run. Hoot Gibson stars, somewhat past his prime as a cowboy attraction, but still showing some of the charisma and skill of the real life champion rider and roper he had been in his younger days. In the story, he's wrongly accused of murdering the owner of a gold mine after being chased by a bad guy posse of four inept villains led by Bat Moulton (Jack Rockwell). Ususally in these types of stories, the hero gets set up and is wrongfully charged by the crooked sheriff and town judge. Here however, Gibson's character Lucky Carson is actually cleared of charges, but takes it on the lam thinking he'll be found guilty. If I hadn't read the screen credits, I would have taken it for certainty that Carson's alcoholic lawyer was being portrayed by Pat Buttram, but it was really Charles King, who I've only seen before as a villain or a henchman.

Part of the story plays out with the background of a traveling medicine show, which Carson joins up with as a trick shot sharpshooter. Doc Halliday (Charles Hill) nicknames Carson 'Lucky Terror' due to his accuracy with a rifle, but gee, if one could really shoot like that it would be nothing short of a miracle. Lucky outlines an Indian face and the name of 'Ann' Thornton (Lona Andre) to demonstrate his skill, and there's not a bullet hole out of place - amazing!

I got a kick out of Doc Halliday, the snake oil salesman peddling his wonder drug. As in all these stories, it cures everything under the sun, but apparently not Doc's stitch of rheumatism that he exhibits a couple of times; that was a neat touch. The Doc had an Italian sidekick named Tony (Frank Yaconelli) who played accordion and sang a bit, but was otherwise unnecessary to the story. On the other hand, the Ann Thonton character got a lot of mileage out of frequent outfit changes that showed off her pretty features and wholesome smile. A bit unusual too that her presence wasn't played out as a romantic interest for Lucky Carson.

I really have to mention the excellent stunt work in the picture. Gibson's early film work was done as a double and a stunt man, and if he did his own riding here, it's really something to see. There's a great scene where Hoot's character crouches on top of a horse giving chase to two villains, straddling the two riders and knocking them from their own mounts. There's a cutaway in the scene to account for what probably couldn't happen if done for real, but still, it comes off as pretty good.

A bit of Hoot Gibson trivia - he got his nickname as a teenager when he delivered drugs and packages (on horseback) for the Owl Drug Company in the Los Angeles area. He started out as Hoot Owl, but that was shortened to Hoot as time went by. He was always adept as a rider, having gotten his first pony when he was only two and a half years old! As in this picture, Gibson often didn't wear a six gun, relying instead on his boyish charm, which certainly helped the characters he portrayed since he didn't cut the dashing good looks of classic Western stars like Rogers, Autry and Charles Starrett.
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Hoot and a fun troop of characters in "Lucky Terror"
glennstenb25 November 2018
Well, good ol' Hoot does it again...that is, he holds together a film that is far from routine in the world of B-westerns. Although traveling elixir-selling carnivals and sideshows are known to us, few films feature one so integrally as this one. The story is imaginative in its detail and in the many varied characters that meander through the program. There are some grim elements in the film that don't really register as such, and the general exposition is lightheartedly brought our way. It appears the cast and viewers alike are enjoying themselves in this film! Finally, Charles King has an unusual role that allows us to see him in a light different than normal. "Lucky Terror" is not really an apt title but it is a fun show!
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Typical and Amusing Hoot Gibson Vehicle
boblipton25 August 2017
Hoot Gibson has a pretty good B Western in this one. He's just moseying along on the trail, when a man pokes a gun in his ribs, and tells him they're switching hats and horses. Then the man's horse goes loco and pulls him over a cliff. Hoot ambles on a bit further and finds a stuck medicine show and hooks up with it as a trick shooter. All too soon, he's on trial for murder of the first man and involved in a gold mine.

Hoot performs some fancy riding and there is plenty of clowning to go with the snarling about serious stuff. Lona Andre is the love interest, and Charles Hill is the orotund and lazy medicine show proprietor. Additional comics are Frank Yaconelli as the show's Italian dogsbody and Charles King as Hoot's drunken lawyer. Hoot wanders through with his mildly befuddled, mildly amused air, hoping that things will turn out all right, and eventually, they do. His fans will not be disappointed.
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Charles King in a comedy role makes this a must-see movie!
morrisonhimself18 February 2016
There is so much to enjoy in "Lucky Terror," but Charles King as a drunken, and funny, lawyer is enough to make this a near-classic B Western.

It had been years since I saw Hoot Gibson, and didn't remember that he is not only a good cowboy, he is an actor.

Hoot never was, as I understand, a classic battling-hero cowboy. He didn't even carry a gun -- at least not in a holster like everyone else.

But as "Lucky" Carson, known as "Lucky Terror," Hoot plays an amiable wanderer who stumbles onto a death, some bad guys trying to steal a mine, and a medicine show, with a lovely girl, who has the legal and moral right to the mine, and the "doctor" who runs the show, plus the ethnic musician, played so beautifully by Frank Yaconelli.

That "doctor" is magnificently played by Charles Hill, who had a lot of over-educated dialog and a flamboyant role (think John Barrymore) that he pulled off perfectly.

Yaconelli usually played a Mexican but this time is an Italian, named, according to the listing here at IMDb, "Giribaldi," but it did sound like "Garibaldi" when the medicine show MC introduced him.

"Lucky Terror" is just crowded by really great cowboy movie stars, including Jack Rockwell, George Cheesbro, and Robert McKenzie, who is very reminiscent of the much-better-known Andy Devine.

Also present and, as usual, uncredited is the always memorable Hank Bell, of the great mustache. Also uncredited are Art Mix and Hal Taliaferro, to name just two.

There's a lot of story here, well presented by writer and director Alan James, of whom I know nothing. He was co-writer of the screenplay which was based on a story written by his screenplay co-writer Roger Allman, of whom also I know nothing. But this work tells me they both should be very well known.

Director James does magnificent work with his angles and moving camera.

Hoot gets to perform some trick riding, which is part of what made him a star in the first place. Exciting to watch.

But Charles King, one of the most villainous villains in B Western movie history, is absolutely a wonder as the whiskey-soaked lawyer. You must see "Lucky Terror" just to see Charles King in this role.

I highly recommend "Lucky Terror," which is available in a passable print at YouTube. Wonderful fun.
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Another typical Gibson film
MartinHafer30 July 2014
Hoot Gibson is a name few would recognize today. Back in the 1930s, he was one of many B-movie cowboys and by 1936 he was towards the latter part of his career and was making flicks for lower status studios. In this case, it's Diversion Pictures--and it doesn't get a lot lower than that. However, fortunately, Gibson had a likable screen persona--such that it managed to make slightly sub-par material like "Lucky Terror" work just a bit better than it should have.

The film begins with some guy being chased by a gang--but you and Hoot have no idea why. The man meets up with Hoot and 'borrows' Hoot's horse--but soon has an accident and falls to his death. Hoot goes to take a look and finds gold!

In the next scene, Hoot joins up with a traveling medicine show--and his job is entertaining the boobs with his trick shooting. Soon, however, he learns that the dead man at the beginning of the film owned the mine and some baddies were trying to steal it. He also realized that the nice lady in the medicine show is his daughter. So, Hoot sticks around to make sure niceness prevails. Or, at least he sticks around until it looks as if the law is about to convict him of this murder--when he takes off to prove his innocence, help the lady get her claim and rounds up the baddies--with a lot of help, incidentally.

At one point in the movie, one of the baddies says '...possession is 9/10 of the law...'. While I have heard this sort of stuff before, it is NOT true and possessing something when someone else owns the deed is clearly against the law. Obviously this guy was no lawyer!

Overall, this is another amiable but slight Hoot Gibson film. It's not nearly among his best but is pretty typical of the quickies he was making at the time. Reasonably entertaining but nothing more.
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