Lash La Rue - An American Cowboy Legend: 6 Movies - Vol. 2 [DVD]

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The Thundering Trail
After becoming a promising star, cowboy star Lash LaRue's new series for producer Ron Ormond quickly fell into a groove of predictability. Thundering Trail, for example, offers very little that LaRue's fans hadn't seen already. LaRue is cast as the bodyguard of a newly elected territorial governor (played by Archie Twitchell, best known as the insinuating clothes salesman in Sunset Boulevard). He must protect his charge from the evil machinations of outlaw-leader Ed West (Ray Bennett). Unable to best the villains with his six-guns, Lash resorts to his trusty bullwhip. As was customary in the Lash LaRue films, comic sidekick Al "Fuzzy" St. John provides the brightest moments. The supporting cast includes such old reliable western hands as Reed Howes, George Cheseboro and Bud Osborne. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Frontier Phantom
In this western, two Federal Marshals attempt to round up ruthless counterfeiters by having hero Lash LaRue dress up as the mysterious "Frontier Phantom." Unfortunately, the Phantom and his friend end up captured by the town sheriff. They have the darnedest time convincing the fellow lawman that they are really on his side. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Daltons' Women
The plot for this Western involves the wives and girlfriends of the Dalton gang, who decide to carry on the gang's criminal activities after the menfolk were either gunned down or locked up. Old-time B-Western star Lash LaRue shows up to take care of them. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Vanishing Outpost
In this Lash LaRue western, Our Hero aligns himself with the Pinkerton Detective Agency ("We Never Sleep") to capture a vicious outlaw gang. No dummies they, these criminals have developed a rather sophisticated communications system, using tin cans and waxed string. But the villains are no match for LaRue and his trusty bullwhip. Al "Fuzzy" St. John, as ever, is on hand for a few laughs. Producer-director Ron Ormond's Lash LaRue western series for Realart release ran hot and cold; Vanishing Outpost can be described as lukewarm, its protracted dialogue sequences jarring against the more exciting action highlights. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Black Lash
Not so much produced as stitched together, The Black Lash was ostensibly a sequel, with plenty of stock footage, to Frontier Revenge (1948). Duce Rago (Ray Bennett), whom Marshal (Al "Lash" LaRue) had shipped off to prison in the earlier adventure, is back but his stagecoach and train robberies leave a bit to be desired due to the stupidity of the hired help. Lawyer Bill Leonard (Byron Keith) suggests that they get some "heavy artillery," meaning good ol' Lash, who apparently was so disgusted with Rago only receiving a slap on the wrist for his previous crimes that he abandoned law enforcement for good. Naturally, our black-clad hero is working undercover with Cattlemen's Association agent Lem Woodruff (Kermit Maynard) and this time he manages to send Duce up the river for more than six months. Bennett, Sarah Padden, and Jim Bannon all repeated their roles from the earlier film; actually, the latter was apparently unavailable and a double was rather noticeably employed in all the new footage. Leading lady Peggy Stewart was also back, but her character had changed from an undercover agent in Frontier Revenge to a villainess in the return engagement. (Both Stewart and Ray Bennett visibly age from one scene to another.) Walter Greene's intrusive score is kept at a high pitch throughout even though not much is happening onscreen and the film's running time is stretched to an interminable length with seemingly endless chases on horseback, a sure sign of economy in scripting and execution. The fact that producers Ron Ormond and June Carr (Mrs. Ormond) stretched the Lash LaRue series well beyond the saturation point can only be explained by the popularity of LaRue's sidekick, Al St. John, whose Fuzzy Q. Jones character proved a perennial favorite with the small fry. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

King of the Bullwhip
The title King of the Bullwhip could only refer to one of two western-movie favorites: Lash LaRue or Whip Wilson. Since LaRue was under contract to Ron Ormond productions, it was LaRue who starred herein. Usually associated with the lowest of low-budget productions, LaRue is here surrounded with decent production values and an above-average cast, including Jack Holt, Anne Gwynne, Tom Neal, Michael Whalen, Dennis Moore and George Lewis. And, as always, LaRue is aided and abetted by trusty comical sidekick Al "Fuzzy" St. John. Likewise praiseworthy is the plot, a solid mystery yarn concerning an unknown bank robber. The finale finds LaRue subduing the villain with a startling exhibition of expert whip-cracking. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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