Cast & Crew
Twenty-year-old Jay Price's dying mother gives him a locket, and tells him that his name is really Jack King, and that she took him from his father. Every year she has returned unopened the birthday letters from his father. At the Triple X ranch, Jim King tells his niece and foster daughter Betty that he knows his son must be living somewhere in the West. Others living on the ranch include young Dickie; Pietro Antonio "Tony" Scaldoni, the comical Italian cook; Jeff Murdock, the foreman; and Smokey, a cowhand. When Jay goes to claim the letter from his father at the post office, no one believes his new identity and he holds them at gunpoint in order to get the letter. Unknown to Jim, Jeff has been involved in rustling Jim's cattle but blames the thefts on a mysterious figure called "The Hawk." The unsuspecting Jim nominates Jeff to lead a group of vigilantes against "The Hawk." When Tony tries to join them, he is placed on "Wildfire," an untamed horse. Tony is thrown, and Wildfire endangers Dickie. Jay, nearby, rescues the child, and Jeff finds the locket, which has fallen out of Jay's pocket. Despite Jeff's displeasure, Jim and Betty invite the man they know as Jay Price to stay on the ranch as a cowhand, and he and Dickie become friends. Betty explains to Jay that, due to the rustling, Jim must sell his entire herd to avoid losing the ranch. Dickie finds a poster indicating Jay is wanted for mail robbery and takes it to Betty, but Jay insists that she trust him. That evening, Jay trails Jeff to his rendezvous with his cohort and is taken prisoner. Dickie loses his horse while following Jay and is found the next morning by Zanga, Jay's faithful dog. Dickie and Zanga release Jay and catch one of the rustler's confederates. When Sheriff Palmer comes to arrest Jay, Dickie warns Betty. Jeff captures Jay, who explains to Jim that he is his son and that Jeff is "The Hawk." After a fistfight, Jay obtains the locket from Jeff as Betty brings the rustlers. Jay and Betty kiss as the sheriff realizes his mistake, and the couple, along with Dickie, Jim and Tony, are reunited.
John A. Conrad
J. D. Kendis
The working title of this film was Pride of the Triple X. Although a copyright statement appears on the film, it is not listed in copyright records. Television prints of the film sometimes bear the title Trail of the Hawk. This was Edward Dmytryk's first film as a director. Dmytryk had worked as a film editor at Paramount for several years prior to and subsequent to the production of this film. According to his autobiography, the picture was independently produced on a $5,000 budget by an "amateur actress" from Long Beach. and was shot primarily at Monogram studios. According to modern sources, the film was based on a story entitled "Pride of the Triple S" by an unknown author and the cast also included Ramblin' Tommy Scott, Luke McLuke, Frankie Scott, Sandra Scott, Eddie Williams, Henry Hall, George Morrell, Marty Joyce and Gaines Blevins.