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West of Cimarron

USA 1941
produced by
Republic
directed by Lester Orlebeck
starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler, Rufe Davis, Lois Collier, James Bush, Guy Usher, Hugh Prosser, Cordell Hickman, Roy Barcroft, Budd Buster, Mickey Rentschler, Cactus Mack, Bud Geary, Stanley Blystone, James Gillette, John James, Nick Stewart
screenplay by Albert DeMond, Don Ryan, based on characters created by William Colt MacDonald, music by Cy Feuer

Three Mesquiteers, Republic's Three Mesquiteers

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Having survived the Civil War and hoping for long-lasting peace, the Three Mesquiteers - Tucson Smith (Bob Steele), Stony Brooke (Tom Tyler) and Lullaby Joslin (Rufe Davis) arrive in Texas, to realize that it seems not everywhere the North and the South have buried the hatchets, as certain officers within the Northern army led by Colonel Conway's (Guy Usher) civil aide Bentley (Hugh Prosser) and Captain Hawks (Roy Barcroft) have made it their source of revenue to tax those bloody Southerners to the bone and shoot those who cannot pay - all without the knowledge of Conway who thinks those opposing the Northerners, called the bushwhakers and led by Ken Morgan (James Bush) and his father (Budd Buster) are insurgents who have to be whiped out.

The Mesquiteers, consisting of a Northerner - Stony - and two Southerners - Tucson and Lullaby - refuse to take sides in this, especially since Ken Morgan once was Tucson's best friend, and try to get to the bottom of it all ... and soon enough they have convinced Colonel Conway to at least talk to the Morgans before taking retaliatory measures - which is what Bentley cannot have, so he has the Colonel shot by his own orderly (Bud Geary) and is even able to blame it on Ken Morgan.

The Three Mesquiteers, ignorant to the fact that Bentley is actually the villain of the piece, agree to bring Ken Morgan in for questioning ... and only too late they realize that it is a trap and all of a sudden, Stony and Tucson are incarcerated with Ken Morgan and sentenced to a necktie party. Fortunately though, nobody thought Lullaby would be important enough for incarceration, and thus he manages to smuggle guns hidden in watermelons into their prison cell while in black face (a scene that would be seen terribly politically incorrect by today's standards but is quite amusing in the film) and convinces Doris (Lois Collier), the daughter of dead Colonel Conway, to bring in reinforcements to save the Mesquiteers and Ken Morgan. It all ends in a big shoot-out between Bentley and his soldiers on one side and the Mesquiteers and the approaching army on the other, a shoot-out that also features quite some explosions, and at the end of which Bentley and his men get their just desserts.

And ultimately, the North - represented by Doris Conway - and the South - Ken Morgan - marry to grant everlasting peace. Sweet.

 

One of the more interesting films of the Three Mesquiteers-series, as it - differing from other films treating the Civil War and its immediate aftermath - refuses to take side and instead tells an interesting story. That's of course not to say that West of Cimarron is an intellectual masterpiece or a political commentary, it's still a B-Western focussing more on typical Western action - massive horseriding, many shoot-outs and fist fights - than anything else. It's just nice to see that some thought was invested into the script too.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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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
the twisted mind of
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
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD