Producer-director J.P. McGowan's Syndicate Film Exchange, a forerunner of Monogram Productions, Inc., caught action heroes on their way down or up -- mostly down. Covered Wagon Trails, one of the last full-length silent westerns produced, starred the laconic Bob Custer, a screen cowboy whose career was decidedly in the doldrums. The story wasn't exactly fresh either, something about a cowboy battling smugglers -- and heroine Phyllis Bainbridge's weakling brother (Perry Murdock) -- on the Mexican border. This below-average modern-dress oater was far from the sweeping epic the title suggests but did come with a synchronized music score.
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