Cast & Crew
Shortly after the Civil War, cattle ranchers in Texas face poverty because the Union Pacific railroad is bypassing their state. At the same time, unscrupulous state treasurer Marvin Fletcher, a carpetbagger, buys land scrip for three cents an acre from desperate ranchers. The last hold-out is the Laguna del Sol Ranch, run by young Taisie Lockhart and her devoted ranchhands, among them, Jim Nabours. Returning veteran Dan McMasters seeks to rekindle his romance with Taisie, but she scorns him because he fought for the North. Unknown to Taisie, Dan has returned home to conduct an investigation of Fletcher for the President. He receives assistance from Amos Corley, the bank manager. While in town, Jim has an angry encounter with Fletcher and tries to fire on him, but Dan shoots the gun out of his hand, giving him a flesh wound and making an enemy of him. This ruckus allows Dan an introduction to Fletcher, however, and Dan meets with him later, pretending to be a fellow carpetbagger. Dan convinces Taisie to drive her herd to Abilene, Kansas, where buyers will pay top price for her cattle. Dan believes her success will encourage other ranchers to do the same, thereby saving their ranches. Taisie hires Dan as a guide and to protect them from Indian raids. Fletcher and his gang follow the herd, killing an Indian maid in order to incite warfare and ruin Taisie's chances of reaching Abilene. On Dan's advice, Cinco Centavos, one of Taisie's ranchhands, rides for the United States cavalry. In the meantime, Jim and Taisie lose faith in Dan and send him packing because Jim saw him talking with Fletcher. The Indians arrive, followed shortly by the cavalry. Dan arranges with Chief Blue Cloud to surrender Fletcher to Indian justice. This done, Taisie drives her cattle into Abilene, where Jim sells them for twenty dollars a head. Her faith in Dan restored, Taisie and Dan reunite.
Edwin J. Brady
Chief Standing Bear
Katherine Clare Ward
The pre-release title was Stampede. In 1924 Paramount released North by 36 based on the same source, directed by Irvin Willat, and starring Jack Holt (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3883).