Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Westerns - Steve Q ""

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Underrated Westerns - Steve Q

Steve Q blogs about terrible movies at http://zerostarcinema.blogspot.com and can be found on Twitter at @Amy_Surplice.
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Assuming you've see all the great westerns, and all of the cult westerns, that leaves ten thousand B westerns, which are very rarely more than passable. Here are five that are better than average.

Trail of Robin Hood (1950)
Roy Rogers and a dozen other B western stars help to deliver Christmas trees for a man whose business is being threatened by big business. That makes for a very unusual western!

Gun Code (1940)
Tim McCoy, before his Rough Riders days, seeks vengeance on the men that blackmailed his father. This thin plot makes for a very good, seldom seen film.

The Narrow Trail (1917)
William S. Hart was the first cowboy hero, playing complicated characters (usually outlaws that do good things). This film is a tribute to his horse, which was nearly as famous as he was at the time. This kind of film was not uncommon in B westerns decades later.

Valley of the Sun (1942)
Between being a chorus girl and being a star, Lucille Ball made a number of interesting films, including this, her only western. It has moments of comedy, but is a true western. Sir Cedric Hardwicke also stars.

Harlem Rides the Range (1939)
This western with an all-black cast is from the era of race films, which are underseen today. Herb Jeffries stars. He finds a dying man, falls in love with a picture of the man's daughter, loses a glove, gets implicated in the murder, exonerates himself and meets the girl. He also sings (quite well).

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