Classic Westerns: Bob Baker Four Feature [DVD]

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Guilty Trails
Directed by Universal hack George WaGGner (yes, he insisted on being billed this strange way), Guilty Trails was the fifth of 12 Bob Baker singing Westerns produced by Universal from 1937 to 1939. Baker played Bob Higgins, a lawman who hangs up his badge after shooting Dan Lawson (Forrest Taylor), the suspect in a bank robbery. He later takes a job on the Lazy D Ranch, where he falls in love with the new owner, Jackie (Marjorie Reynolds). The girl proves to be Dan Lawson's daughter and leaves him after learning of his true identity. Bob, meanwhile, has discovered that the real culprit of both the bank heist and old man Lawson's murder is none other than banker Brad Eason (Jack Rockwell) himself. Eason attempts to flee with his loot but is caught by Bob, who is reunited with Jackie. Although general purpose Western player Hal Taliaferro (formerly Wally Wales) made a surprisingly effective comic sidekick and Marjorie Reynolds a fetching heroine, Guilty Trails suffered from Baker's complete lack of charisma. Such songs as "The Song of the Trail," "There's a Ring Around the Moon," and "Give Me a Home on the Prairie" (all by regular Baker contributor Fleming Allan) did nothing to endear the star to his target audience, the small fry, and by 1939 he was reduced to playing second fiddle to Johnny Mack Brown. Guilty Trails was written by director WaGGner under the pseudonym of "Joseph West." ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Border Wolves
Universal's newest singing cowboy Bob Baker heads the cast of Border Wolves. The film starts off like gangbusters, with an outlaw attack on a covered wagon (largely culled from Universal's stock-footage vault). Falsely accused of masterminding the attack, young Rusty Reynolds (Baker) vows to track down the genuine culprit. So predominant is the film's musical angle that, at one point, even the bad guys lift their voices in a campfire song! Like many of Bob Baker's westerns, Border Wolves was directed by Joseph H. Lewis, who had a happy knack of bringing artistry and nuance to the cliched proceedings. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Last Stand
The Last Stand is among the better Bob Baker westerns, with the star getting to show off his athletic prowess as well as his singing skills. The story borrows a page from the repertoire of Bob Steele, with hero Tip (Baker) trying to find out who murdered his father. To expedite this, Tip and his saddle pal Pepper (Fuzzy Knight) offer their services to a Cattleman's Protection Association. When all else fails, Tip disguises himself as an outlaw and joins the suspected murderer's gang. The usual western cliches are adroitly avoided by director Joseph H. Lewis, who clearly hoped that his Bob Baker films would lead to bigger and better things (which they did). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Singing Outlaw
In this western, a singing outlaw and a US marshal kill each other in a fight. Their demise is witnessed by an opportunistic fellow who assumes the dead lawman's identity. He soon finds himself in over his head when he tries to stop cattle rustlers and gain the love of a rancher's daughter. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Bob Baker - Bob
  • Marjorie Reynolds
    Marjorie Reynolds - Jackie
  • Image coming soon
    Georgia O'Dell - Martha
  • Image coming soon
    Jack Rockwell - Brad
  • Carleton Young
    Carleton Young - Steve
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