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Raiders of Sunset Pass

USA 1943
produced by
Republic
directed by John English
starring Eddie Dew, Smiley Burnette, Jennifer Holt, LeRoy Mason, Roy Barcroft, Charles Miller, Maxine Doyle, Mozelle Cravens, Nancy Worth, Kenne Duncan, Jack Kirk, Isabel La Mal, Jack Rockwell, Budd Buster, Dorothy Andre, Hank Bell, Fred Burns, Kansas Moehring, Jack Ingram, Frank McCarroll, Al Taylor
written by John K. Butler, music by Mort Glickman

John Paul Revere, John Paul Revere (Eddie Dew), American World War II Propaganda

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It's World War II, and with most young and able men sent to the frontline, Dad Mathews (Charles Miller) has porblems finding good cowhands, so pretty much everyone who can keep in the saddle will do. And it's not that these substitute cowhands aren't motivated - after all, Dad Mathews has a gouvernment contracts, and they're all fine patriots who take joy in supporting their country's war efforts in whatever modest way they can. But they're no match for the rustlers roaming the neighbourhood and pretty much stealing Mathews' cattle from right under his cowhands' noses, and that way endangering his gouvernment contract. The gouvernment sends two agents, Johnny Revere (Eddie Dew) and Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette), but at first they're stumped, just lacking the manpower to track down the rustlers - until Mathews' daughter Betty (Jennifer Holt) makes the suggestion of hiring the young women of town to patrol the land. Revere thinks it's a good idea, but the locals are against it, so Betty and her woman army have to promise to not engage in confrontations and merely radio in what they observe by walkie talkie. This goes amazingly well, and soon the rustlers are on the verge of losing their business - when they learn about the patrol women. So they, led by "honest businessman" Judson (LeRoy Mason), see that the girls have "accidents" ever so often, just to make everybody believe going on patrol is not a woman's job. Revere though grows wise to these acts of sabotage, and catches one of them, Lefty (Roy Bancroft), red-handed. But Mathews lets him slip because he himself has a past as an outlaw who once killed a sheepherder, and Lefty threatens to expose him. Revere knows there's something fishy, so he has Frog follow Lefty - and Frog soon observes Lefty meeting up with Judson. But he's captured by Judson't men. But somehow, he can turn on his walkie talkie, and by singing one of the irreverent songs he has become known for filled with actual intel, he can give away the rustlers' plans to Revere, and he, together with Betty's squad of patrolwomen, can round up the rustlers. And ultimately, Lefty even clears Dad Mathews name in regards to the death of the sheepherder ...

 

From nowaday's point of view, the ever so slightly "feminist" message sure feels ridiculously old-fashioned - but one has to see movies, B-movies probably even more so, as mirrors of their time, and in the 1940s, to even have women in westerns that are more than the hero's sweetheart and occasional damsel in distress was ... maybe not super progressive, just still a rarity. That aside, Raiders of Sunset Pass is sure nothing special but a fun piece of entertainment that moves along nicely enough, and that actually gives Smiley Burnette more to do than just being daft - how he uses his signature song to radio a message to Revere is actually a quite clever plot device. Now of course, not a film that'll stick with you for long, but it's almost sure to entertain you while it lasts.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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