The Telegraph Trail

The Telegraph Trail is a 1933 American pre-Code Western film directed by Tenny Wright and starring John Wayne and Frank McHugh.[1] The film also starred stuntman Yakima Canutt as Indian Chief High Wolf, Marceline Day as the heroine, and Duke the Wonder Horse as John Wayne's trusty steed[2][3]

The Telegraph Trail
Theatrical poster to The Telegraph Trail (1933)
Directed byTenny Wright
Produced byLeon Schlesinger
Written byKurt Kempler
Music byLeo F. Forbstein
CinematographyTed McCord
Edited byWilliam Clemens
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • March 18, 1933 (1933-03-18)
Running time
54 minutes
CountryUnited States


A vile scoundrel named Gus Lynch stirs up trouble with the local Indians led by Chief High Wolf, convincing them that if the white man is successful in building a telegraph line through their territory, the Indians will all be eventually eliminated. High Wolf leads his braves to attack and kill a crew of white men whom they find stringing up telegraph wires in the wilderness. John Trent's best friend is killed in the attack and he leads the townspeople to go out into the Indian lands and finish setting up the telegraph system themselves. Meanwhile, Lynch proposes marriage to the beautiful Alice Keller, who just recently arrived in town with her comical Uncle Zeke. She tells Lynch that she is already engaged to the handsome John Trent, which sets up a fierce rivalry between Trent and Lynch.

The Indians attack the telegraph company's wagon train in a fierce battle out on the plains, and John Trent rides heroically for help and brings back the cavalry just in time to stop the white townspeople from being massacred. Trent's sidekick Corporal Tippy gets drunk during the attack, and he and an inebriated Uncle Zeke share some tense but comical scenes during the battle as they use the circling Indian braves as target practice, drunkenly oblivious to the danger. Chief High Wolf is mortally wounded astride his horse while watching the battle from a distance and when he sees Gus Lynch abandoning him, he uses the last of his energy to shoot Lynch in the back. Trent winds up with Alice in a romantic embrace.


See also


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