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Lash La Rue - An American Cowboy Legend: 6 Movies - Vol.1 [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Mark of the Lash
Black-garbed cowboy hero Lash LaRue considered this low-budget series entry one of his best films, "best," of course, being a relative term. This time around Marshal LaRue is assigned to bring law and order to a town run by greedy saloon owner Lance Taggert (Marshall Reed), who had the last visiting lawman hanged on a trumped-up charge. LaRue escapes an assassination attempt by Taggert's henchman, Colt Jackson (John Cason), and discovers that the saloon owner is after the valley's water rights which legally belong to rancher Danny Phillips (Jimmie Martin) and his sister, Mary (Suzi Crandall). Impersonating a territorial land representative killed by Jackson, Lash and his sidekick, Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al St. John), manage to unmask Taggert and bring peace and prosperity back to the valley. Mark of the Lash was produced by the husband-and-wife team of Ron Ormond and June Carr, who had gotten both LaRue and St. John on the cheap after the demise of their previous employer, PRC. Neither of the Ormonds knew the first thing about filmmaking, a fact that quickly became obvious to their unsuspecting audience. That their LaRue Westerns remained profitable can only be explained by the relatively cheap productions costs and St. John's enduring popularity. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Son of a Badman
Lash LaRue stars as U.S. deputy, with Al "Fuzzy" St. John as his comic-relief deputy. Lash and Fuzzy are on the trail of El Sombre (Michael Whalen), a notorious bandit. Unbeknownst to everyone but the audience, El Sombre doubles as a kindly dentist named Jarvis. While trying to stem the villain's activities, Our Heroes rescue heroine Vicki (Noel Neill) from various perils. True to his name, Lash LaRue wields his bullwhip with deadly accuracy. Son of a Badman received better reviews than usual, by virtue of the clever screenplay by Ron Ormond and Ira Webb and the top-flight supporting cast. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Frontier Revenge
Produced on the cheap by Ron Ormond and his wife, June Carr, this Western was one of ten to star Lash LaRue and Al St. John, formerly of PRC. They are assigned to catch a gang of outlaws working out of Rhyolite, a town run by Duce Rago (Ray Bennett), who is posing as a legitimate businessman. With the help of an elderly widow, Mrs. Owens (Sarah Padden), and a female undercover agent (Peggy Stewart), Lash and Fuzzy manage to infiltrate the gang and bring Rago and his henchman, Brant (former Western star Jim Bannon), to justice. The Ormonds produced a quite unnecessary sequel to this Western, The Black Lash (1952), which contained sequences lifted in their entirety from Frontier Revenge. A former serial queen at Republic Pictures, Peggy Stewart was a fine actress who deserved better than what the Ormonds had to offer. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Son of Billy the Kid
If it weren't for the movies, how would the public have known that Billy the Kid, who died at the age of 21, had a son? According to this low-budget sagebrusher, Billy (George Baxter) didn't die in 1881 as previously reported, but escaped to another town, started up a whole new life as a respectable banker, and fathered a boy named Colt (Johnny Jones). U.S. marshal Jack Garrett (Lash LaRue) doesn't believe that Billy has gone straight, but he changes his mind when a gang of outlaws try to frame the ex-outlaw. Amusingly, the most dangerous character in this little opus is the nominal heroine (Marion Colby)! As always, Lash LaRue is partnered with comical sidekick Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al St. John). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Outlaw Country
Lash LaRue essays a dual role in the 1949 western Outlaw Country. LaRue plays himself (or at least his screen self) and an outlaw known only as The Frontier Phantom. The story finds the "good" Lash and his sidekick Fuzzy Q. Jones (Al St. John) searching for counterfeiters. Meanwhile, the "bad" Lash is in cahoots with the crooks. After the two LaRues face each other in a showdown, the "bad" Lash turns good and helps the hero round up the villains. The leading lady this time out is Nancy Saunders, whose previous experience included a handful of Three Stooges 2-reelers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dead Man's Gold
Dead Man's Gold, starring the black clad, whip wielding Lash LaRue and his sidekick, Fuzzy (Al St. John), is the kind of cheesy low-budget production in which legendary lawman Wyatt Earp's name is misspelled "Erpt" in a foreword. Arriving at their friend Jim Thornton's ranch in Gold Valley, Lash and Fuzzy learn from Thornton's niece, June (Peggy Stewart), that her father has gone missing for three days. Lash finds some gold nuggets and realizes that the land may be valuable and a target of claim jumpers terrorizing the valley. As it turns out, Thornton has been murdered by the town's crooked mayor (Lane Bradford), who is in league with the Thornton foreman (Terry Frost). Lash and Fuzzy "persuade" the foreman to turn state's evidence and the mayor is brought to justice. Dead Man's Gulch was one of ten ultra-cheap Westerns produced by Ron Ormond, his wife, former vaudevillian June Carr, and Ira Webb. The budgets were so tight that stunt doubles were eliminated. Years later, LaRue and frequent adversary Terry Frost wondered how they ever survived the quite realistic-looking fight scenes. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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