Men of America (1932)

Men of America (1932)

Smokey Joe Miller (Charles ‘Chic’ Sale) who once helped tame the West runs a gas station convenience store in the country far removed from the gangster crime in the cities. Now he and his daughter (Dorothy Wilson) are members of a community which includes a World War I veteran Jim Parker (William Boyd) who’s courting his daughter an Italian immigrant (Henry Armetta) an Indian (Alphonse Ethier) and a mish mash of melting pot characters in a western town. They all hang out at Smokey Joe’s eating his popcorn listening to his stories and waiting for the mail. A bunch of gangsters (including Eugene Strong) who just robbed a bank in nearby Phoenix stiffs Joe (for a fill-up four cartons of cigarettes etc.) and drive off only to get their windshield shot through by Joe. Parker saves Joe from further harm as the gangsters fire back while driving away. Turns out the rest of the gangsters are hiding out in an old canyon not far away. Their $50000 take from the bank is useless to them because it’s all in $1000 (traceable) bills. Shortly thereafter the community is overrun with crime (thefts of chickens food and other livestock) as the gangsters determined to lie low for a while have to eat. Smokey Joe not knowing or fully trusting the man courting his daughter (Jim Parker) suspects him and when a murder seems to implicate him gets the whole community together in the school house (when the local police are unavailable due to a coming election). Jim of course discovers the real truth and the location of the gangsters then must convince the town posse to follow him. Can you guess what happens next? Directed by Ralph Ince who also plays the gang’s leader Cicero.

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