Fighting Westerner, The

1541. THE FIGHTING WESTERNER (Rocky Mountain Mystery) (1935-USA). With RANDOLPH SCOTT, CHIC SALE, MRS. LESLIE CARTER, ANN SHERIDAN. Based on a story by ZANE GREY. An unusual Western: the scenario focuses on dialogue and interplay between the characters, rather than galloping horses and gunplay. Its more of a mystery than a Western. A tense, atmospheric whodunit that is chock full of surprises. Rugged Randolph Scott, then hitting his stride in both Western and romantic roles, portrays Larry Sutton, a mining engineer. He arrives in a Nevada town that’s appropriately called Lost Hope, Sutton is to start a new job, but he’s promptly recruited by a deputy sheriff to work undercover and investigate a killing. He finds himself consorting with a gallery of shady characters-and before he can determine any of their motives, there’s another mysterious death. Chic Sale offers a nifty turn as his trademark character: a sly, no-nonsense old codger. Appearing in a supporting role, as the niece of Scoffs employer, is a pretty 20-year-old starlet named Ann Sheridan. She had just changed her billing from Clara Lou Sheridan, her given name; the following year, she signed a Warner Bros, contract, was dubbed the “Oomph Girl,” and for the next decade was one of the studio’s solid, versatile stars. Finally, the film offers a rare screen role (as one of the murder suspects) for Mrs. Leslie Carter, the famed turn-of-the-century Broadway stage star. 54 minutes. Western Mystery