Excellent western from 1934
Randolph Scott Sings
One of about twenty Zane Grey novels filmed by Paramount from 1930-1940, WAGON WHEELS is a remake of FIGHTING CARAVAN, a movie about the Oregon Trail. It’s definitely a B movie, with its running time under an hour, plenty of library footage to give it some size, Charles Barton sitting in the director’s chair for the first time and singing to eke it out — Even Randolph Scott warbles a couple of lines of the title song.
It’s worth seeing for Scott in an early western. His first appearance in one had been a bit part in THE VIRGINIAN, but since his success in WILD HORSE MESA and THE THUNDERING HERD, Paramount had been giving him one or two oaters a year, in between the usual assortment of comedies, dramas and even lending him to other studios for musicals. He’s solid here, opposite Gail Patrick, with some good support from Raymond Hatton as an old Mountain Man. However, it’s still an okay B movie, even if he would do great things in the genre over the next three decades.