Law and Order


1h 10m 1932

Brief Synopsis

Traveling west, former peace officer Frame Johnson and his three friends arrive in Tombstone, a lawless town controlled by the three Northrup brothers. Preceded by his reputation, the town Council tries to get him to take the job of Marshal. He says he will not wear a badge again but seeing the ruthless Northrup murders he accepts. After a killing on both sides, although outnumbered, Johnson and his two remaing friends head to the OK Corral for a shoot out with the two remaining Northrups and their men.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bullet Proof, Saint Johnson
Release Date
Feb 7, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Saint Johnson by W. R. Burnett (New York, 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

In a bar, during the late 1870s, Frame Johnson and his brother Luther play poker with hotheaded Fred Brandt. Frame, who is known as the man who "cleaned up Kansas and killed thirty-five men, one for each year of his life," gives his winnings to a Mexican so that he can return home. Frame, Luther, Brandt and their pal, "Deadwood," then hit the trail, and a turn of the cards directs them to Tombstone, Arizona. In the wild town, Fin Elder's campaign for sheriff is winding down amid vote-buying and the murder of his opponents. In the Golden Girl saloon, bartender Ed Deal recognizes Frame from Kansas City, and the foursome obtain a room and two beds. Frame's reputation as a staunch supporter of law and order have earned him the nickname of "Saint" Johnson. Frame reluctantly accepts the job of marshal, which places him in conflict with Fin and his allies, the Northrups. When Kurt Northrup mutilates the poster of an actress whom Brandt loves, the two men fight. Kurt's brother Walt pays Kurt's subsequent court fine but warns Frame and his friends to leave town. Later Frame argues in front of a mob that Johnny Kinsman, who killed deputy Joe Todd, should hang legally instead of being lynched, the standard form of justice in Tombstone. Frame enacts a ban on firearms which leads circuit judge R. W. Williams to suspect that Frame is trying to take over the town. After Luther is forced to kill Kurt when he threatens to shoot him and the bartender, Frame decides they too must abandon their guns. After the funeral, the Northrups ambush and kill the drunken Brandt. Heartbroken over his friend's death, Frame announces he will leave town as soon as he has avenged the murder. The ensuing shootout ends in a barn, and after he kills Poe Northrup, Frame is the sole survivor. "Deadwood" has died, and Luther passes away in Frame's arms. Frame refuses to believe such a town wants peace and leaves Tombstone as a bell tolls.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bullet Proof, Saint Johnson
Release Date
Feb 7, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Saint Johnson by W. R. Burnett (New York, 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Working titles for Law and Order were Saint Johnson and Bullet Proof. According to modern sources, W. R. Burnett's novel was based on exploits of Wyatt Earp. Modern sources also claim that Law and Order was re-issued as Guns a'Blazing. Law and Order has been the title of many westerns. Two of these Westerns were remakes of Burnett's story: Universal's 1940 film (see below); and a 1953 Universal production directed by Nathan Juran and starring Ronald Reagan. A serial version entitled Wild West Days starring Johnny Mack Brown was produced by Universal in 1937.