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The Randolph Scott Round-Up: 6 Classic Westerns - Volume 2 [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Santa Fe
The creative team of producer Harry Joe Brown and star Randolph Scott turned out some of the best westerns of the 1950s, and Santa Fe is no exception. Set in the years following the Civil War, the film casts Scott as Britt Canfield, one of four ex-Confederate brothers who head West to carve out a new life. While his three siblings (Jerome Courtland, Peter Thompson and John Archer) cast their lot on the wrong side of the law, Britt accepts a job with the Santa Fe Railroad. Inevitably, Britt is obliged to bring his wayward brothers to justice, though he knows full well that the person responsible for their downfall is "untouchable" gambling boss Cole Sanders (Roy Roberts). In a well-staged climax, Britt squares accounts with the evil Sanders and his hulking henchman Crake (Jock O'Mahoney). Curiously, many TV prints of Santa Fe were processed with the soundtrack slightly out of sync with the action. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Desperadoes
In this Western drama, Steve Upton (Randolph Scott) is the sheriff of a Utah community in 1860. Upton's best friend, Cheyenne Rogers (Glenn Ford), was once an outlaw, but under Steve's guidance, he's gone straight and tries to earn an honest living. However, while Cheyenne is in town to pay Upton a visit, the local bank is robbed and Cheyenne is the prime suspect. Through Cheyenne is quickly convicted, Upton is convinced his friend is innocent, and the sheriff helps the former outlaw break out of jail; together, they hit the trail trying to find the real culprits and clean up the town. The Desperadoes had the distinction of being the first Technicolor feature released by Columbia Pictures. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Man in the Saddle
Rancher Randolph Scott rides right into a romantic triangle in this moody western. He is forced to stand by as his mercenary girl friend (Joan Leslie) is lured away by a wealthy neighboring rancher (Alexander Knox). When the neighbor is killed, Scott is accused of the murder, and spends the balance of the film clearing himself. After a blood-spattered fistfight with a gunslinger (John Russell) and several gun battles, Scott consoles himself with schoolteacher Ellen Drew. Based on a novel by Ernest Haycox, Man in the Saddle was the first of the lucrative collaborations between star Randolph Scott and producer Harry Joe Brown. The film's title song is sung over the credits by Tennessee Ernie Ford. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hangman's Knot
Randolph Scott is the commander of a Confederate raiding party. They rob a Yankee gold shipment and are told by a dying Union soldier that the war ended a month ago. Knowing that they will now be forced to face criminal charges, they hide out but are soon under attack by a gang of bandits who want the gold they stole. Well done, tense western with a good, dry sense of humor. ~ Tana Hobart, Rovi

The Nevadan
Those westerns produced by the team of star Randolph Scott and producer Harry Joe Brown tended to be several notches above the norm, and The Nevadan is no exception. Scott is cast as U.S. marshal Andrew Barkeley, who goes undercover in a federal pen to get a line on $250,000 in stolen money. Barkeley arranges for chief suspect Tom Tanner (Forrest Tucker) to escape from jail, the better to trail Tanner to the hiding place for the loot. If it were that easy, of course, the film would be over in 15 minutes. Complicating matters is avaricious rancher Edward Galt (George Macready), who also covets the stolen cash. Dorothy Malone adds "heart interest" as Galt's daughter. The chase and fistfight scenes are well-integrated into the suspenseful screenplay. The director was Gordon Douglas, an efficient craftsman who nonetheless wasn't nearly as skilled as Randy Scott's future collaborator Budd Boetticher. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Stranger Wore a Gun
Randolph Scott makes his 3-D debut in the stereoscopic western Stranger Wore a Gun. This time, Scott plays Jeff Travis, a former spy for Quantrill's Raiders. When he heads to Arizona to start life anew, Travis finds that his reputation has preceded him: crooked Jules Mourret (George Macready) hires him to monitor a series of gold shipments, in preparation for a major robbery. Eventually, Travis falls in love with Shelby Conroy (Joan Weldon), daughter of freight-line operator Jason Conroy (Pierre Watkin), and decides to turn honest. That won't be easy: in addition to the surly Mourret, Travis must deal with such formidable movie heavies as Alfonso Bedoya, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine. Also on hand is Claire Trevor, in a soft-pedalled variation of her role in John Ford's Stagecoach. Stranger Wore a Gun was directed by Andre DeToth, whose previous foray into 3D had been the box-office smash House of Wax. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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