AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Triple Justice
Director: David Howard (Dir)
Release Date:   20 Sep 1940
Production Date:   22 Jun--3 Jul 1940
Duration (in mins):   66
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Cast:   George O'Brien (Brad Henderson)  
    Virginia Vale (Lorna Payson)  
    Harry Woods (Al Reeves)  
    Peggy Shannon (Susan)  
    LeRoy Mason ([Sheriff] Bill Gregory)  
    Paul Fix (Cleary)  
    Glenn Strange (Frank Wiley)  
    Malcolm McTaggart (Tom Payson)  
    Wilfred Lucas (Constable)  
    Robert McKenzie (Agent)  
    The Lindeman Sisters [Elena, Clotilde and Berta] (Lolita, Pepita and Chiquita)  
    Bob Burns (Patterson)  
    Herman Nolan (Driver)  
    Joe Rickson (Luke)  
    Lloyd Ingraham (Sam)  
    Gaylord Pendleton (Tommy)  
    Paul Everton (Tatum)  
    Jean Del Val (Don Solas)  
    Henrique Valadez (Estaben)  
    George Mendoza (Manuelo)  
    Carlos Barbe (Hernando)  
    Max Lucke (Priest)  
    Luz Vasquez (Dancer)  
    Harry Weil (Minister)  
    Frank O'Connor (Doctor)  
    Georgia Simmons    
    Mabel Forrest    
    Eva McKenzie    
    Fern Emmett    
    Anne Cornwall    
    Hank Worden    
    Bill Franey    
    Henry Rocquemore    
    Bruce Mitchell    
    Lew Meehan    
    Dick Hunter    
    Betty West    

Summary: While riding from Wyoming to the town of Star City, Arizona to attend the wedding of his best friend, Sheriff Bill Gregory, Brad Henderson stops to ask directions from a group of three men. Brad accompanies them to Star City, where the townsfolk are gathered at the church for Bill's wedding. As Brad washes up, the three men: Tom Payson, Frank Wiley and Cleary, rob the bank, kill the teller, shoot Bill and ride out of town. Brad chases the robbers, but because he is a stranger in town, he is mistaken for one of the outlaws and arrested by deputy sheriff Al Reeves. Reeves, who is the covert brains behind the robbers, decides to hang Brad for murder before Bill regains consciousness and can identity his friend. Before Reeves can carry out his scheme, however, Brad escapes from jail and pursues Cleary into the desert, where the robber perishes from thirst. Brad finds a label in the dead man's jacket which leads him to the town of Tule Mesa, where Brad mails Cleary's share of the stolen money back to Bill in Star City. In town, Brad finds Payson, who flees from him in terror and plunges to his death from cliff. Pursued by the suspicious local constable, Brad hides at the nearest ranch, which is owned by Payson's sister Lorna. The sheriff warns Lorna that Brad is in the vicinity, but when she finds him the next morning, he pretends to be the outlaw and promises to go straight and send the money back to Star City, and she tells him that her brother was planning to meet Wiley in Mexico. As Brad rides to find Wiley in Mexico, Reeves receives the package of money and traces Brad to Lorna's ranch, where he tells her that Brad murdered her brother. This prompts Lorna to accompany Reeves to Mexico to avenge his murder. Meanwhile, Bill, now fully recovered, receives Brad's second package and begins to suspect Reeve's complicity in the robbery. In Mexico, Brad apprehends Wiley and forces him to confess, but soon after, Reeves arrives and frees Wiley at gunpoint. As Reeves and his men shoot it out with Brad at the Solas hacienda, Bill and his posse ride to the rescue. Exonerated of all guilt, Brad marries Lorna as Bill marries Susan. 

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: David Howard (Dir)
  Edward Killy (Asst dir)
Producer: Bert Gilroy (Prod)
  Lee Marcus (Exec prod)
Writer: Arthur V. Jones (Scr)
  Morton Grant (Scr)
  Arnold Belgard (Story)
  Jack Roberts (Story)
Photography: J. Roy Hunt (Photog)
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase (Art dir)
  Lucius Croxton (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Frederic Knudtson (Ed)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus dir)
Sound: John C. Grubb (Rec)
Country: United States

Songs: "Lonely Rio," words and music by Fred Rose and Ray Whitley.
Composer: Fred Rose
  Ray Whitley

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 20/9/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP10052

PCA NO: 6462
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Recording System

 
Genre: Western
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Escapes
  False accusations
  Frame-ups
  Mistaken identity
  Robbery
 
Subjects (Minor): Brothers
  Falls from heights
  Mexico
  Murder
  Posses
  Sheriffs
  Sisters
  Weddings

Note: Var erroneously lists Peggy Shannon's character as "Mary." Modern sources note that this was George O'Brien's last film until after World War II and add Walter Patterson and John Judd to the cast. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   10 Oct 40   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Jun 40   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Jul 40   p. 7.
Motion Picture Daily   21 Oct 40   p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald   19 Oct 40   p. 38.
Variety   9 Oct 40   p. 16.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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