The names are changed, but it's the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral story ... Richard Dix as Clay is not far from Wyatt Earp, nor is Preston Foster's Tex Randolph too big a stretch from Doc Holliday ... Clay even has a little brother, Orin (James Bush), who appears to have picked up some lessons with the gun from big brother ... Orin mostly there for the love story with Kitty Rivers (Margot Grahame) ... Orin loves Kitty, but Kitty meets Clay ... Clay falls for Kitty, but backs off once he realizes little brother loves her ... minor conflict between Clay and Orin ... Kitty also has to fend off attention of county sheriff Jake Mannen (Louis Calhern), who's basically the Ike Clanton of our piece ... Mannen's boys aren't blood relation, but a group of henchmen led by Keeler (Joe Sawyer) ... Mannen and company run the town, even have a crooked judge (Edward Van Sloan!) installed to make sure all goes his way ... quiet, intense Clay (Dix) arrives and is coaxed into accepting the Marshall's badge by the Mayor (Francis Ford) ... Tex (Foster) arrives as Mannen's hired firepower, but he and Clay have each heard of each other and wind up throwing in together ... Clay deputizes Tex ... The Arizonian is often predictable, yet never takes the easy way to any situation ... characters are smart, and even if we know where they're going, they aren't as simple as black or white ... conflict is subtle, believable, quiet ... Willie Best and Etta McDaniel on hand in what begins as stereotypical African American period roles, but develop into something more ... their characters are the least predictable aspect to The Arizonian ... Dix and Foster work great side-by-side ... Dix a haunting presence as Clay ... Clay seems to have a backstory that would curl your hair, but we never get a whiff of it ... it's told entirely by reputation and reaction ... Calhern can play sleazy in any setting ... Margot Grahame okay ... climactic action takes place when the baddies are waiting at a generic corral ... directed by Charles Vidor from a Dudley Nichols story ... my IMDb rating: 7/10.
Lightning reviews are first impressions of movies I've yet to research for more detailed articles. Unlike my more polished full reviews there is little to no research here; sparse images and links; a more relaxed writing style. These are movies I'd love to eventually cover with a more fully developed article, but until time permits, here's the short version: