EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|FORT WORTH (director: Edward L. Marin; screenwriter: John Twist; cinematographer: Sid Hickox; editor: Clarence Kolster; music: David Buttolph; cast: Randolph Scott (Ned Britt), David Brian (Blair Lunsford), Phyllis Thaxter (Flora Talbot), Dick Jones (Luther Wicks), Ray Teal (Gabe Clevenger), Bob Steele (Shorty), Helena Carter (Amy Brooks), Emerson Treacy (Ben Garvin), Chubby Johnson (Sheriff), Walter Sande (Deputy Waller), Lawrence Tolan (Mort Springer), Paul Picerni (Joe Castro), Pat Mitchell (Toby Nickerson), Zon Murray (Happy Jack Harvey); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Anthony Veiller; Warner Bros.; 1951)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Edward L. Marin ("Tall in the Saddle"/"Nocturne"/"Johnny Angel") lazily directs this routine B western that's formulaic and is written without distinction by John Twist.
gunfighter-turned-newspaperman Ned Britt (Randolph Scott)
returns home from Kansas, after being away for 14 years, with crusading
newspaper partner Ben Garvin (Emerson Treacy) and wide-eyed young printer Luther Wicks (Dick
and sets up a newspaper to fight the lack of law and order in his
hometown. The town is under siege from ruthless cattleman Gabe Clevenger (Ray Teal) and is run by oily self-made real estate
developer tycoon Blair Lunsford (David
Brian), Ned's former best pal who stayed home for the Civil War
and got filthy rich selling meat to the army. He's now engaged to
wealthy rancher Flora Talbot (Phyllis Thaxter). Ben
discovers that Blair actually wants Fort Worth to be under siege, as
he's anticipating the railroad coming to town and has bought up on the
cheap all the properties of those fleeing while keeping an ineffective
sheriff (Chubby Johnson) in office that he could have
easily replaced if he wanted to.
Ben's knifed to death in the back by Clevenger henchman Castro (Paul
Picerni ), as the venal cattleman
wants the newspaper out of business since the newspaper heads want him
arrested for starting a cattle stampede on the Texas Trail that killed
a young boy (Pat Mitchell) on a wagon train headed by Ned. The killing
of his partner is all it takes for Ned to deem that the pen is not
mightier than the sword and gets deputized to put on his guns again and
gun down Castro.
It's now up to Ned to bring
Blair and Clevenger to justice (who maybe have always been joined
together, though that is never made clear in this muddled western),
save the town and stop nice girl Flora from marrying sleazebag Blair
and marry him instead. You've seen it all before in countless westerns,
as there's nothing new here.
Scott, as always, makes for a
pleasant and believable hero.
REVIEWED ON 4/17/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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