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Joseph H. Lewis
Johnny Mack Brown,
Wild Bill Jones is saved from three toughs by "Silver Jim" Donovan, a newcomer to Winchester. They team up to campaign for Thad Morgan for state senate running against crooked incumbent Walter Kincaid. Morgan's campaign is headed by saloon owner Queenie Canfield. Jim visits Doc Winslow and asks him to keep on the lookout for a man with a jagged scar on his left arm, as a man so-marked had shot Jim's father in the back with a silver bullet which Jim now wears as a watch fob, with full intentions of returning it to the former owner. Kincaid has Morgan killed, and Jim, Nancy Lee and others now campaign for Morgan's widow, Emily.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Better than average little oater, thanks mainly to several offbeat touches by cult director Joseph H. Lewis. Known later for such noir classics as Gun Crazy (1949), he livens up the screen here with some good action. Note the several punches thrown at the camera that had me ducking, or the imaginative overhead angles on the barroom brawl, or the surprising stage holdup to start the movie. Such small clever touches show an engaged approach even for a matinée programmer.
The supporting cast is better than average as Silver (Brown) searches in the middle of a town election for the man who backshot his father. All he knows is the shooter has a scar on his arm. I especially like Grace Lenard's dance hall girl Queenie. She's got real personality. Also, Brown makes for a likable cowboy hero, while Knight's comedy relief doesn't annoy. All in all, it's a pleasant glimpse of the Old West as we might like it to be.
(In passing—catch songstress Nora Lou Martin. She manages some falsetto trilling the likes of which I've never heard.)
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