Frontier scout Jeff Scott (Johnny Mack Brown) and his pal, Deadwood Hawkins (Fuzzy Knight), are hired by Washington officials to stop outlaw and Indian raids on pioneer wagon trains ...
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Frontier scout Jeff Scott (Johnny Mack Brown) and his pal, Deadwood Hawkins (Fuzzy Knight), are hired by Washington officials to stop outlaw and Indian raids on pioneer wagon trains crossing the western plains. Strangely, only those trains bound for the rich fur-trapping regions of the Oregon territory are molested. Keeping their identity secret, Jeff and Deadwood overtake a wagon train in time to save its occupants from an Indian-attack massacre. They rescue Margaret Mason (Louise Stanley) and Johnnie Clark (Bill Cody, Jr.), a young boy whose father was killed in the attack. Jeff suspects that the wagonmaster "Bull" Bragg (Jack C. Smith) is a spy for the raiders and has Bragg thrown out of his job. Bragg, after inciting an Indian attack and starting a prairie fire, is thrown into jail. Bragg is working under the orders of Sam Morgan (James Blaine), the manager for a fur company syndicate that hopes to keep the settlers out of Oregon. After many dangers and disasters, the wagon train ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chapter Titles: 1. The Renegade's Revenge 2. The Flaming Forest 3. The Brink of Disaster 4. Thundering Doom 5. Stampede 6. Indian Vengeanc 7. Trail of Treachery 8. Redskin's Revenge 9. The Avalanche of Doom 10. The Plunge of Peril 11. Trapped in the Flames 12. The Baited Trap 13. Crashing Timbers 14. Death in the Night 15. The End of the Trail. See more »
Chapter one: As the powder wagon carrying Margaret Mason is stampeded by an Indian arrow, you can briefly see the wagon driver as he ducks out of sight. See more »
The Oregon Trail was the last of four serials that Johnny Mack Brown made for Universal in the 30's before moving exclusively to features. This 15 chapter saga details the trials and tribulations of a wagon trail headed west to the promised land in Oregon.
There are large scale Indian attacks, the cavalry riding to the rescue and the usual hair-raising escapes to entertain the avid serial lover. As in most Universal serials, liberal use is made of stock footage from the silent era.
Once again, Brown is cast as the dressed all in black hero who leads the wagon train. Fuzzy Knight provides support as Brown's sidekick.
Where the casting breaks down is in the portrayals of the chief villains. James Blaine is barely adequate as "Morgan", the chief baddie, but it is Jack C. Smith as "Bull Bragg" who clearly was not up to the role. Of the villains, Charles Stevens as "Breed" stands out. Either Forrest Taylor, Tom London or Charles King, who play small roles as henchmen, could have elevated this picture by playing the "Morgan" and "Bragg" roles.
If the producers could only have seen a few years into the future, they would have seen that they had the future "King of the Bad Guys", Roy Barcroft (cast curiously as General Custer) in their cast. Ah but hindsight is always 20/20.
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