“The Return of The Durango Kid”

April 9, 2008

As this probably makes clear, I’m not taking these on in chronological order. Or any order at all, other than the one the universe imposes by the order in which these films become available.

“Return of The Durango Kid” 1945.

Five years and 25 some films later, The Kid returns. I believe that Charley exclusively played the Kid after this film. I’ll let you know what I find out.

Another quick review, since I saw this over a week ago.

Film starts with no mention of previous “Durango Kid.” Charley is “Bill” but now he’s “Bill Blayden.” Interestingly, Charley mostly played “Steves” over the last five years. Now he’s “Bill” again, soon to be “Steve” forever.

This time it’s a gang robbing the stagecoach. Bill shows up and helps the gal that runs the stagecoach.

Funny bits: Durango throws a rock with a note through the window of the gal’s place, we hear breaking glass, and she runs out, happily clutching the rock “It’s a note from the Durango Kid!”

Some comedy with a farmhand trying to blow a pill down a tube into a horse’s mouth. “What’s the matter, pokey?” “He blew first!”

A semi-bad guy shows Durango a piece of paper that “proves your daddy was framed by Warner.” He’s shot and killed. Later, Durango shows the same paper to the Sheriff, “Why this proves that your father was framed by Warner.” Some piece of paper!!!

Nice idea of incorporating the singers (here, the Jesters) into the story. They quit the saloon after they figure out that the owner is a bad guy, and GO TO WORK for the gal who runs the stage coach. This way the songs are more part of the story, a little bit more…

Great bit where Durango keeps telling the bad guys that he’s coming to town at eight to kill them. He tells one who tells the gang, “He’s coming at eight.” He throws a knife with a note that says the same, and they read it outloud to the gang, “He’s coming at eight.” However, two scenes later, someone says “All this waiting is driving me crazy! If we only knew WHEN he was coming!”

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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3 Responses to ““The Return of The Durango Kid””

  1. Mike Newton said

    The Durango Kid series officially began in 1945. Starrett had made the first movie in 1940. The mysterious rider gimmick seemed to have an appeal with theater exhibitors and the kids alike. Starrett needed a gimmick to put himself apart from all the other cowboys. His movies while entertaining, used musical talents of various hillbilly groups known to rural audiences from radio and records. In assuming the guise of the Durango Kid, Starrett put himself in the same category as William Boyd, Duncan Renaldo and Clayton Moore. It was a character that he would be identified with until his career ended in 1952.

  2. I would like to add this little tid-bit of information concerning Starrett’s reprisal of the Durango Kid. While he did originate the character in a 1940 film and then began the long running series in 1945, he also used the masked identity bit in a 1943 film appropriately called “Robin Hood of the Range.” Raised as an orphan by a railroad tycoon, he finds himself going against his foster parent to protect the rights of homesteaders. To do this, he has to don the black mask and outfit of a mysterious night rider.

  3. Hoge said

    I posted a video on Youtube of The Jesters performing “He Holds the Lantern While His Mother Chops the Wood”.

    Enjoy it here.

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