Branded A Coward (1935, B&W):
Johnny Hume watches in horror as his parents and older brother are gunned down by "The Cat" and his band of outlaws. Twenty years later, Johnny is still traumatized by the childhood memory, and he's developed a reputation as a gun-shy coward. But his life abruptly changes after he comes to the rescue of a beautiful woman during a stage robbery. When Johnny learns that the thieves were led by a shadowy figure known as "The Cat," his past and present collide. He decides to take a job as Marshall, solely to uncover the secret that has plagued him since he was a young boy - and exact overdue vengeance!
A dark and complex tale with a shocking surprise ending, Branded a Coward is full of hard riding, fistfights and gunfire. The highlight is Yakima Canutt, the master stuntman, who performs the famous "dragged under the wagon" trick, later updated by Steven Spielberg in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Starring Johnny Mack Brown, Billie Seward, Syd Saylor, Yakima Canutt; Directed by Sam Newfield.
The Courageous Avenger (1935, B&W): Ruthless thugs force half-dead slaves to crush silver ore in their isolated desert mine. They also manage to hijack every shipment of bullion from a nearby gold mining company. With the local lawmen seemingly powerless to stop the thefts, Government agent Kirk Baxter is sent to investigate. Baxter suspects that the outlaws have an inside source feeding them information. While tracking down the gangsters, he is captured and sent to join the slaves on the grinding wheel.
With stunning desert panoramas and some innovative camerawork, Courageous Avenger was filmed in 1935, the same year as Branded a Coward. As an unexpected bonus, the "under the wagon" stunt is reprised here as well.
Starring Johnny Mack Brown, Helen Ericson, Ed Cassidy, Frank Ball; Directed by Robert N. Bradbury.
BRANDED A COWARD: Johnny ain't yella, but he did have to get over his fear of gunfighters after seeing his parents killed when he was a young'un. Now he's the new marshal in town.
COURAGEOUS AVENGER: On the trail of the man who murdered a silver wagon driver, Johnny discovers a slavery ring.