10 Movie Western Pack, Vol. 4 [2 Discs] [DVD]
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In this romantic western, unlikely lovers leap across social boundaries so they can be together in the rugged, scenic Canadian Northwest. The young woman is a well-bred, impeccably mannered part of the country-club set, while her suitor is a rough-and-ready American rancher. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
His in-laws brutally murdered and his life-long best friend convicted of committing the unforgivable crime, a conflicted deputy agrees to escort the condemned man to the gallows as a group of ruthless killers attempts to ensure that they never reach their intended destination. As Deputy John Cooper (Justin Kreinbrink) struggles with his desire to exact personal justice against his mute friend Martin Lowery (Kevin Market) during their trip to Lowery's appointment with the hangman, the sudden appearance of some sadistic bandits leads the lawman to suspect that things may not be what they appear. As the truth about the heinous double homicide slowly comes to light, Deputy Cooper gradually begins to realize that Lowery harbors a secret that some believe is worth killing for. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
The crime drama Open Gate concerns a talented rodeo rider from a small town in Texas who uncovers a drug operation being run by the men in charge of the rodeo. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
'Neath the Arizona Skies
John Wayne attempts to locate Shirley Jean Rickert's wayward father in this low-budget Western from his days with Monogram. The little girl, a "half-breed," is the heir to a 50,000-dollar Indian oil claim, but she needs the signature of her long-lost father in order to collect. Chris Morrell, Nina's foster father, manages to get the tyke out of town before Sam Black (Yakima Canutt) and his gang can get their grubby hands on her and her inheritance, but other villains learn of the girl's potential windfall, including express office robbers Vic Byrd (Jack Rockwell) and Jim Moore (Jay Wilsey). When Vic finally gets hold of the child, he is shot and killed by one of his own hands, Tom (Earl Dwire), who is revealed to be Nina's real father. With Tom's help, Chris manages to trick the Black gang and is able to storm their hideout. In the ensuing melee, Tom is fatally shot but Byrd manages to escape with Nina. Chris goes after them and there is a final confrontation in a raging river. 'Neath the Arizona Skies was based on Gun Glory, a short story by B.R. Tuttle, which had been filmed in 1933 by maverick producer Victor Adamson as Circle Canyon. This earlier version starred Buddy Roosevelt as Chris and Clarise Woods as the little heiress. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Here's another episode from the long-running classic TV series featuring the famed masked man (Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger) and his trusted Indian friend, Tonto (Jay Silverheels). ~ Phillip Erlewine, Rovi
An upcoming Super Bowl provides the framework for this suspenseful thriller set in New Orleans. The trouble begins when a murderous stalker begins threatening assorted lovers, gamblers, and con artists who typically surround the big game. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
The Desert Trail
John Wayne's easy-going charm truly began to manifest itself in this, one of his later "Lone Star" Westerns for Monogram. Falsely accused of killing the paymaster (Henry Hall) of the Rattlesnake Gulch rodeo, John Scott (Wayne) and his girl-chasing partner Kansas Charlie (Eddy Chandler) trail the real killer, Pete (Al Ferguson), and his unwilling underling Jim (Paul Fix) to Poker City. Jim wants to go straight, but Pete blackmails him into robbing the stagecoach. John and Kansas, who are known in town as Jones and the Reverend Smith, are once again accused of the crime, but Jim helps them escape from jail. When the young bandit refuses to commit bank robbery, Pete shoots him in cold blood. The villain is caught by John and Kansas, whom Jim has cleared of all crimes on his deathbed. Besides one of Wayne's better early performances, The Desert Trail -- whose title bears no close scrutiny -- also benefitted from the presence of Frank Capra-regular Eddy Chandler, a rotund comic actor whose sparring here with Wayne is first-rate all the way. Paul Fix is equally good as the outlaw with a conscience and Mary Kornman, of Our Gang fame, is tolerable as the obligatory heroine. The Desert Trail was directed with easy assurance by the veteran Lewis D. Collins, who for some reason billed himself "Cullin Lewis." ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Angel and the Badman
One of John Wayne's most mystical films, Angel and the Badman is also the first production that Wayne personally produced. The star plays a wounded outlaw who is sheltered by a Quaker family. Attracted to the family's angelic daughter Gail Russell, the hard-bitten Wayne undergoes a slow and subtle character transformation; still, he is obsessed with killing the man (Bruce Cabot) who murdered his foster father. The storyline traces not only the regeneration of Wayne, but of the single-minded sheriff (Harry Carey) who'd previously been determined to bring Wayne to justice. Not a big hit in 1947, Angel and the Badman has since become the most frequently telecast of John Wayne's Republic films, thanks to its lapse into Public Domain status in 1974. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
John Wayne once again goes undercover to catch a wanted outlaw in this average entry in his 1934-1935 Western series for Monogram Pictures. Wayne plays John Carruthers, a U.S. marshal, and his quarry is the Polka Dot Bandit, aka Danti (Yakima Canutt), who has taken off with a 4,000-dollar pay roll. As John soon learns, Danti is in the employ of Malgrove (Edward Peil Sr.), a supposedly upstanding citizen who is secretly trying to starve the good people of Yucca City. Unbeknownst to the townsfolk, a valuable ore runs right through the area and Malgrove is plotting to buy the land on the cheap. Blue Steel was produced at Hollywood's General Service Studios with exteriors filmed at Big Pine, CA. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
As the Civil War draws to a close, a gang of women, bitter toward the society that did not see fit to help them, goes on a crime spree in the name of helping themselves. Some seek to bring the women to justice, but no one anticipates the fallout that will occur for trying to reel these criminals in. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi