Heritage of the Desert

Zane Grey's pen... again sends a devil-may-care youth... on an exciting trail of adventure and romance.

73 min     5.667     1939     USA


John Abbott returns to the desert land he owns, and after being wounded by hired gunman Chick Chance, he is befriended by rancher Andrew Naab and his son, Marvin. Naab's daughter, Marian, falls in love with John but is about to marry Snap Thornton to keep a promise made by her father. She runs away on her wedding day but is captured and held hostage by outlaw Henry Holderness. John, the Naabs and fellow ranchers rush to her rescue.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Though he had a tendency to verbosity, Zane Grey wrote some good Western adventure stories, and this one is quite decent too. Donald Woods is "Abbott" the last of a once wealthy family who is told by his lawyer that all that is left is some inhospitable land in the desert. When he goes off to investigate, he is shot - lands in some quicksand, and is lucky to be rescued by the "Naab" family. A bit of a love triangle ensues, as our determined young man decides to reclaim his property from those scheming to take it (and it's wealth). This is a much better than average effort. The screen adaptation from Norman Houston keeps the dialogue focussed and there are a couple of stronger performances from the star; C. Henry Gordon (the unscrupulous "Holderness") and Evelyn Venable (the feisty "Miriam"). The photography is also quite lively, too - allowing the story more fluidity than many films I've seen. The romance does stifle it for me, though - takes just a little too much of this 75 minutes and detracts from the more interesting action elements of the crooked land grabbing. Features Sidney Toler, too - albeit infrequently - and that rather shows up his really limited skills as an actor, and the editing isn't the best. Enjoyable, though, with a few extra twists to keep it interesting.