The story is founded upon an incident of insurrection and bloodshed which took place in and around Regina in 1885, when Canadian troops finally subdued a settlers’ discontent and revolt.
With that much fact to start from, scripters weave a story which has its exciting moments, a reasonable and convincing romance and a hero who is a pure Texan from down near the Rio Grande. Gary Cooper is the man from the South, and although Canadian uprisings are none of his business (he is one of the Texan Rangers on search for a murderer) he finds himself in the middle of gunplay before the end of the second reel.
Preston Foster as the sergeant-leader of the redcoats gets the better of Cooper in the contest for Madeleine Carroll. Foster has the girl and Cooper has George Bancroft, the heavy, tied up with his lariat and on his way back home. Before that takes place there are innumerable plot complications involving Paulette Goddard, a half-breed vixen; Robert Preston, one of the mounted who faltered in outpost duty; Walter Hampden, a big Indian chief; and Akim Tamiroff and Lynne Overman, who stage their own private duel of marksmanship, which is hilarious.
Interesting novelty is an introductory soundtrack talk by DeMille in which he recounts the historical basis for the film.
1940: Best Editing.
Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, Original Score, Sound