|THE HAWK OF POWDER RIVER (director: Ray Taylor; screenwriter: George Smith; cinematographer: Ernie Miller; editor: Joe Gluck; music: Eddie Dean; cast: Eddie Dean (Deputy Marshal Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates (Soapy Jones), June Carlson (Carole Chambers), Steve Clark (Bill Chambers), Jennifer Holt (Vivian), Eddie Parker (Cochrane), Terry Frost (Mitchell, henchman); Runtime: 54; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jerry Thomas; Producer Releasing Corporation/Eagle-Lion Films; 1948)|
can knock me down with tumbleweed, the outlaw leader
of a ruthless gang in the lawless Old West is a lady
called the Hawk."
by Dennis Schwartz
you can knock me down with tumbleweed, the outlaw
leader of a ruthless gang in the lawless Old West is a
lady called the Hawk. Ray Taylor ("Law And
Order"/"The Daltons Ride Again"/"The Vigilantes
Return") respectfully directs this routine oater, with
singing cowboy Eddie Dean as star. His best
number is the Black Hills. George Smith turns in the
screenplay for the busy B-western.
frontier town of Powder River, a gang led by the Hawk
is terrorizing the community: robbing mines,
stagecoaches and payroll deliveries. When crusading
editor George Daniels is killed by the gang, deputy
marshal Eddie Dean is called from Tombstone. While
en-route Eddie discovers a four-man gang is waiting in
ambush to kill the stagecoach passenger Carole
Chambers (June Carlson), the graduating
schoolgirl who is returning to her father Bill's (Steve Clark)
ranch. In town, after the rescue, Eddie meets sidekick
Soapy (Roscoe Ates), who went on ahead,
and is informed by the crooked family lawyer Cochrane
(Eddie Parker) that Carole's dad is dead due to an
explosion at his ranch. We learn he was killed by the
gang when he discovered they were using a cave on his
ranch property as a hideout. It's further learned that
the vic's niece Vivian (Jennifer Holt), who is staying on the
ranch, is secretly the Hawk and her aim is to kill
both her uncle and his daughter and inherit the
richest ranch in the territory. Though the gang was
recruited with the help of her boyfriend Cochrane,
Vivian has other ambitions than marrying him now.
and Soapy stay at the ranch as workers to keep an eye
on the vulnerable Carole, and thereby discover that
Vivian is friendly with only the bad cowhands on the
H-Bar 2 Ranch. Their spying enables them to soon get a
bead on the gang and set a trap over a lost cowboy hat
during a payroll robbery.
No tension is ever created, as the simplistic film, though well-executed for a B-western, never has much of a sparkle and fails to hold interest. The star lacks the charisma to be a star and his medley of songs are all forgettable. That criticism also goes for the song by the singing cowhands, Andy Parker and 'The Plainsmen," who sing around a campfire.
REVIEWED ON 8/13/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ