|TRAIL GUIDE (director: Lesley Selander; screenwriters: story by William Lively/Arthur E. Orloff; cinematographer: Nicholas Musuraca; editor: Samuel E. Beetley; music: Paul Sawtell; cast: (Tim Holt), Richard Martin (Chito Rafferty), Fred Wilcox (Regan), Linda Douglas (Peg Masters), Robert Sherwood (Ken Masters), Tom London (Old Timer), John Pickard (Dawson), Kenneth MacDonald (Wagon Master Wheeler), Wendy Waldron (Maria), Patricia Wright (Kate); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating:NR; producer: Herman Schlom; RKO; 1952-B/W)|
B Western of the period. It failed
to hold my interest."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Routine B Western of the period. It failed to hold my interest. Lesley Selander ("The Raiders"/"Fort Utah") directs without energy, making sure to check off all the usual action boxes for this formulaic oater. It's based on a story by William Lively, and is written by Arthur E. Orloff.
Sidekicks Tim Holt and the womanizer Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) are trail guides who help wagon master Wheeler (Kenneth MacDonald) bring homesteaders to Silver Springs to settle in hostile cattle country. When Wheeler brings to town the homesteaders' claims and their money, he's jumped on the trail by crooked saloon keeper Regan (Fred Wilcox) and his henchmen. He suffers from a shoulder wound and is robbed of the claims and the money. Tim suspects the hostile rancher Ken Masters (Robert Sherwood), and when he confronts him the upset kid leads them to Regan after confessing he hired him to steal the claims but bowed out after Regan killed the marshal. Ken's sister Peg (Linda Douglas) runs the ranch since her parents died, and after being hostile to the homesteaders changes her mind and welcomes them. Peg was unaware of her brother's criminal activities and now wants to make it up to the newcomers by being a good neighbor.
Cornball comedy relief is provided by Chito as a ladies man always on the prowl. Dawson (John Pickard) is Regan's top goon, in a one-dimensional role as the heavy. Tim Holt makes for a passable but unexciting hero.
REVIEWED ON 9/4/2017 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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