Part six of Dave Lewis's look at the Duke's formative years.
The Big Stampede (1932) was a remake of the 1927 film Land Beyond the Law. Wayne’s co-stars for this one were Noah Beery and five thousand head of stampeding cattle. Wayne plays a deputy personally appointed by Territorial Governor Lew Wallace to bring the cattle-rustling killer of a New Mexico lawman to justice. He hangs around town pretending to be a drunk until recruiting a Mexican bandit and his vaqueros to help him catch Noah Beery. Refusing to go down without a fight, Beery stampedes the cattle and it’s up to the two Dukes (Wayne and his devil horse) to save the day.
In reviewing The Big Stampede, the Motion Picture Herald said, “John Wayne’s drawl and deliberate style of movement are fitted to effect a likeable picture, made-to-order for theaters that draw upon folk from and near the so-called open spaces.”