Cast & Crew
When Tom Allen, the youthful foreman of the Sierra Mining Company, enlists in the French Ambulance Corps during World War I, his fatherly employers--rancher Daniel Plummer, Mayor Charlie Rudorph, Dr. Miles P. Styles, Judge Whitney T. Wilson and banker Jonathan Wheeler--choose Bert King, the son of the mine's founder, to take over his job. Unknown to Tom and the board members, however, Bert has been using his position at the gold mine to augment his own bank account. While Tom is in France, Bert and his cohort Krueger repeatedly report losses at the mine, which rouses the suspicions of the five board members. Jonathan is sure that Bert has been stealing from the mine, and accuses him of theft and threatens to expose him. Cornered, Bert shoots and kills the banker, then frames Daniel with the crime. Convinced that Daniel will be railroaded by Bert, Charlie, Miles and the judge "spring" him from jail and go into hiding, surviving by robbing their own gold mine shipments. A year later, Tom returns from France with his friend, taxi driver Ed Wimpy, and, at the urging of Sheriff Jim Wells, becomes a deputy in order to retrieve the old men. Tom, who is in love with Daniel's daughter Pat, quickly tracks down the fugitives and convinces them to turn themselves in, promising them a fair trial and sure vindication. When the group arrives in town, however, they discover that Bert, who has since been elected mayor, has appointed Krueger the new sheriff. That night, Ed overhears Krueger and his men discussing a planned lynching party for the old men and rushes to warn Tom. While Ed participates in an impromptu boxing match to distract the townspeople, Tom frees the old men from jail and, pursued by Krueger and his gang, leads them to Mexico. Later, Krueger deduces that Bert is fleeing town with the gold profits and is shot by his deceitful partner. When Tom and Ed then learn that Bert has purchased a machine gun to protect the gold shipments and that the old men are planning one last raid, they dash to stop the ambush and save the old men from sure destruction. Condemned by Krueger, who has survived his wounds, Bert is arrested, and once Daniel is cleared of all charges, Tom marries Pat.
Charles K. French
Cross Fire (1933)
Cross Fire was the last in a series of twelve low budget westerns that actor Tom Keene made for RKO in the early 1930s. One of the lesser known Western stars of his day, Keene played different characters in his films with a different look each time, making him less recognizable to audiences than some of his Western star peers.
The strong supporting cast includes Edgar Kennedy, Lafe McKee, Charles K. French and Betty Furness as Keene's love interest Pat.
Producer: David O. Selznick (uncredited)
Director: Otto Brower
Screenplay: Harold Shumate (story and screenplay); Tom MacNamara (additional dialogue)
Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca
Art Direction: Carroll Clark (uncredited)
Film Editing: Fred Knudtson
Cast: Tom Keene (Tom 'Jack' Allen), Betty Furness (Pat 'Mike' Plummer), Edgar Kennedy (Ed Wimpy), Edward Phillips (Bert King), Stanley Blystone (Henchman Kreuger), Lafe McKee (Daniel 'Pop' Plummer), Jules Cowles (Judge Whitney T. Wilson/Judge Frederick A. Wilson), Thomas Brower (Charles 'Charlie' Rudorph), Nick Cogley (Doc Milas P. Stiles), Murdock MacQuarrie (Sheriff Jim Wells).
by Andrea Passafiume