When John Mason’s father is killed, John is wounded. Attracted to his nurse Alice, a conflict arises between him and his friend Ben who plans to marry Alice. John later finds the killer of his father but goes to face him not knowing Ben has removed the bullets from his gun. Written by Maurice VanAuken This film is a remake of 1931’s “Galloping Thru” which was directed by Lloyd Nolser and supervised by Paul Malvern from an original by Wellyn Totman. “The Dawn Trail”, produced by Malvern,now gives the original film’s director, Nosler, the story credit instead of Totman and rightly giving Nosler a more-correct screenplay credit.And, in 1938, Malvern makes the film again—“Western Trails” with Bob Baker— and this time Norton S. Parker is given the story credit. Bottom line is Trem Carr and Paul Malvern bought it from Totman in 1931 and gave the Story credit to whoever wrote the screenplay on the two remakes, and writer Wellyn Totman loses two credits rightfully belonging to him. The 1938 remake subs the name “Bob Mason” for “John Mason”(in “The Dawn Trail”) and all of the other main character names in “Western Trails” stayed the same. Check it out. The story has John Mason, after several seasons of punching cattle in Texas, coming back home to see his father,agent for the local freight line. He is not, as some summaries show, coming to town to avenge his father’s death…his father ain’t dead when he hits the city limits. On his way over to see his father, John bumps into Ben McClure, they have a fight, and Ben, a good-hearted fellow, decides the drinks are on him and he and John become fast friends in no time at all. John then decides to amble over to the freight office and call on his father, Dan Mason, and arrives in the midst of a hold-up and the elder Mason is killed. John pursues the robbers and is shot from his horse. Badly wounded, he is taken to his new best-friend’s cabin, and is nursed back to health by Ben’s sweetheart (although she doesn’t know this), Alice Gordon and, as Totman’s original story and Nosler’s swipe would have it, John and Alice fall in love, especially after she saves his life from a gang headed by her brother, Rudd, who held up the freight station and killed Mason’s father. None of which John knows. Recovered, he suspects Ben, who is already miffed because John has stolen his sweetheart, even if neither John nor Alice are aware of Ben’s claim. Rudd challenges John to a duel in the street and Ben, plied with liquor supplied by Rudd and the gang member saloon owner, goes off and removes the cartridges from John’s gun. John picks up his gun and heads for town. John is out in the street, with an empty gun, about to face Rudd, whose gun isn’t empty. All three versions of Totman’s original story—no matter who was given the remake credit—are among the best (a relative term) of the B-Western genre. Well, in the case of “The Dawn Rider”, the reference is to the original B&W Lone Star version, and not to the awful colorized video version that, for some unknown reason, has dubbed voices and a completely unneeded—not to mention bad—musical track added. Make sure and get the original B&W Lone Star version.
Roslyn divorces Ray in Reno and then meets widower Guido. He likes her but introduces her to cowboy Gay, and those two fall in love. When she learns that Gay, Guido and Perce are going to turn wild horses (“misfits”) into dog food, she protests.
John Drury saves Duke, a wild horse accused of murder, and trains him. When he discovers that the real murderer, a badguy known as The Hawk, is the town’s leading citizen, Drury arrested on a fraudulent charge.