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The Law of the Range


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Click here to see photos from the film.


Joan and Tim McCoy.MGM silent. 60 minutes. US release: 1/21/28.
Not available on VHS or DVD.

Cast: Tim McCoy, Joan Crawford (as "Betty Dallas"), Rex Lease, Bodil Rosing, Tenen Holtz.

Credits:  From the story by Norman Houston. Scenario: E. Richard Schayer. Director: William Nigh. Camera: Clyde DeVinna. Titles: Robert Hopkins. Editor: Dan Sharits.


Plot Summary:  The ancient tale of brothers, separated at birth, who grow up on opposite sides of the law, is given yet another working-over in this lavish MGM western starring Tim McCoy. A former Indian language translator, McCoy was the studio's first and only attempt at creating a series western star. Sound interrupted what seemed to have been a lucrative series, but Metro nevertheless stayed away from series westerns for good, the only major Hollywood studio to do so. Rex Lease, a personable actor being groomed for a stardom that never really materialized, played McCoy's bad-seed younger brother, and the two meet without knowing each others identity. Having learned the truth (they possess identical tattoos!), Lease redeems himself by sacrificing his own life for the sake of brother McCoy's. If not exactly The Law of the Range, the noble gesture was certainly the law of Hollywood, where crime must always be punished. A young Joan Crawford, who was being punished herself by the studio for being too opportunistic both on and off the screen, earned a few moments in the film as McCoy's love interest. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide


American Film Institute page

IMDb page

Silent Era page

Wikipedia page



Critics' Reviews:


Photoplay (1928):

If Tim McCoy has ambitions to become a Bill Hart, he makes a good start in this picture. With the help of his white horse, the "Boy Bandit," empty guns and a mammoth prairie fire, he gives us a picture which is not only a thriller but holds unusual heart interest. Joan Crawford as the sweet old-fashioned girl fires the protective instincts of both bandits and rangers....



Our Reviews:

If you've seen The Law of the Range and would like to share your review here, please e-mail me.  Feel free to include a photo of yourself to accompany your review and a star-rating (with 5 stars  the best), as well as any of your favorite titles from the film.




Movie Posters:



 US movie poster.




Lobby Cards:


US title card.              



      Card caption: 'Are you afraid to go after 'The Kid'?'  Thank you to Jon M. for contributing this image.



 US lobby card.




Misc. Images:


Cue sheet. Click to see larger version.




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