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The Great American Western, Vol. 26 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene index
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Border Phantom
A murdered entomologist, an inscrutable Asian, and a sinister cowboy with rape on his mind are but a few of the many strange characters inhabiting this unusually well-made, Bob Steele Western. Steele plays Larry O'Day, who, along with sidekick Lucky Smith (Don Barclay), comes to the rescue of Barbara Hartnell (Harley Wood), whose entomologist uncle (Frank Ball) has been found murdered at his laboratory near the border to Mexico. If the murder wasn't enough, poor Barbara is in trouble with a strange neighbor, Obed Young (Karl Hackett), who raves about an ancient curse threatening her hacienda. After a mysterious intruder attempts to strangle Lucky, Larry catches German scientist Dr. von Kurtz (John Peters) stealing specimens from the dead entomologist's lab. Barbara, meanwhile, is arrested for the murder by the sheriff (Horace Murphy) but is freed by Jim Barton (Perry Murdock). The latter, a forbidding-looking cowboy, arranges with Chon Lee (Miki Morita) to have Barbara smuggled across the border as a "picture bride," but she is rescued in the nick of time by Larry, who now has proof of who killed Professor Hartnell. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory
Temporarily taking leave of the TV series The Lone Ranger because of a salary dispute, Clayton Moore found time to star in Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory. The film is as old-fashioned as its title, though that's not an altogether bad thing. Rewriting history somewhat, the story depicts Buffalo Bill (Moore) as an unstinting friend of the Indians. His mission this time around is to protect his Native American friends from evil, land-grabbing gold speculators. Several veteran Indian actors are spotlighted in Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory, including Rod Redwing, Chief Yowlachie and Chief Thundercloud. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Gunman from Bodie
Veteran action and western director Spencer G. Bennet certainly opens this the second of Monogram's eight "Rough Riders" oaters on a suspenseful and unusual note. On a dark and stormy night, a lone rider enters a secluded and seemingly vacant ranch house to find the slain bodies of the occupants and a hastily scribbled note bearing the legend: "Rustlers did this. I recognized Bill Cook with them. Take care of my baby. Mary Gibbs." Although the remainder of The Gunman from Bodie doesn't quite measure up to this suspenseful and evocative opening sequence, it is still a crackerjack little western, well-played by its trio of heroes, Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. The three "Rough Riders" are special agents assigned to look into a series of rustlings near the small town of Larabie. Working undercover as the notorious titular criminal, Jones discovers that the head of the rustlers is none other than supposedly-solid citizen Robert Frazer, who employs both the local sheriff (Max Waizmann and most of the hands at valuable Circle "B" Ranch. As the pretty owner of the ranch and her handsome foreman, Christine McIntyre and Dave "Tex" O'Brien(who sings "Little Tenderfoot"to the abandoned babe) supply the romantic interest, while Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton perform their assigned, and well-known, roles in their accustomed ways. But The Gunman from Bodie belongs squarely to Buck Jones, who combines strength with sentiment as the undercover agent discovering an abandoned baby in one of the more haunting opening sequences in B-Western history. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Skull and Crown
Proof positive that Reliable Pictures' Skull and Crown was filmed several years before its 1938 New York premiere is the presence in the cast of former silent-screen leading man James Murray, who died in 1936. The star of the show is Rin-Tin-Tin Jr., who among other things helps to break up a gang of smugglers. Another silent veteran, Jack Mower, plays the chief crook, but despite his bulk and muscle he's no match for our "Rinty". Nominal human hero Regis Toomey benefits greatly from the dog's deductive skills, winning the hand of heroine Molly Day as a result. Allegedly based on a story by James Oliver Curwood, Skull and Crown is cheap and tacky even by Reliable's unexacting standards. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Bob Steele
    Bob Steele - Larry O'Day
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    Harley Wood - Barbara Hartwell
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    Karl Hackett - Obed Young
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    Horace Murphy - Sheriff
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    Hans Joby - Dr. Von Kurtz
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.