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Law student Bill Carson, the lone survivor of an Indian attack in which his mother was killed and his father abducted, prevents a stagecoach robbery just before celebrating his twenty-first birthday. During the celebration, notorious outlaw Tom Collins and his henchmen shoot Bill's adoptive father. Determined to bring the killer to justice, the boy trails the gang to their valley hideout but is captured by Collins, who receives a terrible shock. Young Carson is his own son - the boy he thought killed long ago in that Indian raid. Toll of the Desert is a perfect example of what could be accomplished when screenwriters deviated from convention and paid attention to characterization. This William Berke six-reeler features an offbeat plot and genuinely startling denouement which separates it from myriad others. Toll of the Desert is also noteworthy as one of only two Westerns starring brawny, handsome Fred Kohler Jr., whose actor father was among the genre's very best villains.

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ALP6783 Toll of the Desert DVD (1935/Fred Kohler, Jr) $5.99