“The Durango Kid”

April 9, 2008

These first few posts will be me getting up to speed, getting caught up on the films I have seen so far. They will be a little shorter and less in-depth.

Okay. “The Durango Kid” 1940.

Charley plays a cowboy named “Bill Lowry.” He’s not named Steve Insert-Random-Surname-Here as he will more consistently (?) be named in future episodes.

Not much of a creation myth. People are talking about “The Durango Kid” doing something down in Texas when Bill arrives home. It’s unclear if Bill was the Durango Kid down in Texas, it seems unlikely.

All this talk gives Bill an idea: to become the Kid and do what he did down in Texas. We don’t get to see this idea occur to him, or, if we do, Charley’s school of acting doesn’t convene it.

So Charley does his thing and saves some homesteaders. He gets dressed up in black and rides his white horse. Some fancy switch-aroos to confuse people.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

If the story is true, the black scarf is a piece from a Rita Hayworth dress. I sorta doubt it. Charley doesn’t get too excited about it either way, but then I guess he might not be…

The Sons of the Pioneers sing and are characters (farmhands) in the film. No Cannonball — no specific comic relief character.

I don’t think Charley gets the girl especially.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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6 Responses to ““The Durango Kid””

  1. This was the first DK film that I have seen in years. I have dim memories of them from when I was a kid. It was nice seeing this and “Return of…” after all that time.

    Keep up the reviews!

  2. In the end of the picture fight between Starrett and Kenneth MacDonald, Starrett’s double (whose face was covered by expert photography) was a newcomer to Hollywood named Ben Johnson. Starrett’s riding double in some scenes was former cowboy star Jay Wilsey (Buffalo Bill Jr.). The Sons of the Pioneers, who had been with Starrett’s film entourage from the beginning, would only make a few more films before being dropped from their contract. It was costing the studio too much to pick up their option (even though their music helped to sell the Starrett series). They would be without a studio contract until Republic signed them in October, 1941 for the Roy Rogers series.

  3. In this first DK, they had him wearing a white hat, but had the good sense to change it to a black hat (in the very next film, I think).

    When he rode out on the white horse Raider all dressed and masked in black I thought he was the finest thing I’d ever seen (I as a kid, that is. I’m 76 now.). .

    (For some reason, I remembered him riding out from a secret cave hidden behind a waterfall but I have never found corroboration for that.)

  4. tim2kirk said

    Keep reading, James. I found the film with the hidden cave behind the water fall!

  5. tim2kirk said

    It’s a Durango film, James. Good luck. Think of it as a scavenger hunt on my webpage. All the Durango Films are listed at the bottom of the blog. šŸ™‚

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