Though not quite as good as Wild Horse Mesa, which was the only previous example of this series that I had seen, this low-rent BW Western has its points. Gary Cooper, then 30 and still more or less confined to B-pictures, plays Clint Belmet, a young frontiersman who, with the Civil War raging back East, signs on, along with his mentors Bill Jackson (Ernest Torrance) and Jim Bridger (Tully Marshall), to guide a wagon train to the Coast. The army is being withdrawn from the Western posts, making the trip doubly hazardous, and a spirited young woman named Felice (Lily Damita), granddaughter of one of Lafayette's officers, who is bound and determined she'll make it to California without any male help, complicates the picture still more when she helps Jackson and Bridger extract Clint from the clutches of a Missouri lawman (Charles Winninger). The hard hand of nature is also against the wagoners as they struggle over rivers and mountains (internal hints suggest that they're taking a southern route, probably the old Santa Fe Trail). Meanwhile Clint, uncomfortable with the concept of owing his precious liberty to a woman, is trying to strike a balance between his attraction and gratitude to Felice and his obligations to the two old men who've raised him.
Cooper here is clearly establishing the laconic, woman-shy persona he would bring to the screen in many films to come, while Damita (who, like Cooper, had begun in silents, mostly German and French ones, and ten years hence would become the mother of Errol Flynn's son Sean) plays off him well as a brave spitfire in love. The movie also has the great advantage of having been filmed at a time when there were still many technical advisors around who had actually known the Old West, or at least heard of it from those who had; the wagons particularly are very authentic. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspects are Torrance as the shambling Scotsman Jackson and Marshall as Bridger--they provide not only some good comic scenes but a certain pathos as representatives of a class of frontiersman quickly growing obsolete, yet well aware that without them the newly developing West could never have existed.