Dawn Rider (1935) is one of my favorite early John Wayne westerns. While it does fit the mold of all the Lone Star Productions vehicles featuring The Duke amidst a cast of regulars such as Yakima Canutt, it rises a cut above the rest through its rather involved plot, a less than completely happy ending, and some great scenes such as the final showdown in which The Duke saunters down the street in impressive "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" fashion. Wayne plays John Mason, who arrives home just in time to see his father murdered during a robbery - but not before he gets acquainted with local tough guy Ben (Reed Howes). Both men go at it pretty good only to become best of friends by the time the fight is over. When his dad is killed, Mason goes after the gang of thugs, taking out a few of them but sustaining two gunshot wounds of his own. Ben's sweetie nurses him back to health, but as luck would have it, her own brother is the man Mason is looking for. As if this isn't complicated enough, Ben starts to believe that Mason is after his girl, placing an unsuspecting Mason up to his neck in trouble later on. Most of these early westerns have a happy ending all the way around, but Dawn Rider does not, and this fact really makes this film stand out in my mind. Packed with action, great performances, and some magnificently staged gunfights, Dawn Rider is a movie every fan of old westerns can enjoy - especially if you also happen to be a big John Wayne fan.