Cast & Crew
When the Martin-Keene lumber mill in the Redwood forests of northern California comes into trouble under the management of Murdock, who has been paid $50,000 by rival company Consolidated Lumber to sabotage the mill, Sally Martin contacts co-owner Larry Keene, whom she has not seen since childhood. Keene, who is living in the East by checks sent to him from Murdock, has become a profligate and spends most of his time drinking. Larry's friend, Jim Dolan, finds Sally's correspondence and forces Larry onto a train, accompanying him West. Meanwhile, Murdock, who has promised Consolidated that he will close the Martin-Keene mill in two weeks, has decreed a twenty percent pay cut without Sally's consent, in addition to a ten percent cut already in effect. Murdock hopes the cut will incite the workers to riot, causing them to miss the deadline on one of their few remaining pulp contracts. When Larry and Jim's train arrives, Jim disembarks first and Sally and aging mill foreman Terry O'Leary mistake him for Larry. While Jim tries to assuage a mob of angry workers, the train pulls away, with Larry still aboard in a drunken stupor. Although Ferguson, one of Murdock's henchmen, has met the train, hoping to deter Larry with physical force, Jim easily licks him and convinces the workers to return to work. Murdock, who knows Jim is not Larry, sends henchman Braden to find Larry, while Jim confesses his true identity to Terry, who advises him to keep up the ruse for the sake of the mill. Although Murdock's agents in the Martin-Keene camp try to kill Jim in the lumber yards by hurling an ax at him, he thwarts their efforts and fires them. Braden, meanwhile, finds Larry in Mad River and, getting him drunk, coerces him into signing an order for the bank to withhold the next payroll. When Sally learns that the payroll has been withheld, she confronts Jim, who is forced to reveal his identity. Terry mollifies Sally's anger over the affair, and she allows Jim to stay. Jim then successfully boosts the workers' morale, and they finish the lumber load before Murdock puts out a warrant for Jim's arrest for impersonating Larry. When Terry learns that the bank's payroll orders came from Mad River, he goes there and retrieves a drunken Larry. As the lumberjacks load the freight train, Murdock's men fight Jim for control of the engine, and Braden starts a fire beneath the exit trestle. Jim drives the train across it in the nick of time and successfully delivers the logs into the river. Larry's arrival prevents Murdock from having Jim arrested, and Murdock tries to skip town, but Terry and Larry accuse him of forging Larry's signature at the bank. Although Murdock pulls a gun on them, Jim and Sally enter in time for Jim to disarm him. After giving Murdock an hour to get out of town, Jim kisses Sally.
The title card on the viewed print reads "James Oliver Curwood's Timber War." Exteriors were shot beginning October 16, 1935 at a lumber camp in Scotia, CA, which is near the California-Oregon border. Copyright records list the location of the mining camp in the film as Scotia, although it is not referred to as such in the film. A modern source adds George Morrell and "Rocky" (a horse) to the cast.