“Gunning for Vengeance”

June 10, 2008

The written opening scroll of the 1946 film ends: ” — until a mysterious rider appeared on the side of law and order. He was known as the Durango Kid.”

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Bad times in Rim Rock. Bad guys are running a shakedown racket, collecting protection money to prevent “accidents” like stampedes through towns, through farmer’s fields. Steve Landry is the new Marshall.

He says, “Good old Smiley, I haven’t seen him in a long time.” Not long enough for me.

Charley does some cool stuff both as Steve (a great quick draw and line “anyone else want to play?!”) and Durango (climbing a rope!)

Another film shot on Iverson Ranch, the bridge designates the State Line, and the bad guys keep riding over it to escape justice. Durango is (in a rare occurrence) essential to the plot, since he can capture them on the other side and force them back over, where Steve can arrest them.

A lot of action takes place near the Saloon rear entrance. We know it’s the Saloon rear entrance because there is a sign. It reads, “Saloon Rear Entrance.”

Very cool Steve-to-Durango transformation. Steve says good line, “I know someone who can do something about this…” and he rides and rides and rides along the crest of a hill and disappears. Cut to DURANGO!

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

For once a gal takes interest in Steve. Of course, it’s a ruse. And of course Steve will have nothing to do with her. She sets him up for a trap but dies for her efforts.

If I were starting over on this blog, I would keep track of how many times Steve or Durango says some variation on “Toss your guns. Left hand!”

Someone refers to a gun as a “Smokepot” as in “Get out that Smokepot, bud.”

In the end, Steve is victorious and is leaving town. The Mayor says, “Good luck with your next chore, Steve.” Chore? Way to sell “Galloping Thunder” which is next. (Actually, I’ve seen “Galloping Thunder” and His Honor may have a point…)

Music is by the Trailsmen, who play small parts as friends of Smiley’s and the Saloon house band.

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One Response to ““Gunning for Vengeance””

  1. Colbert Clark, who produced the majority of “Durango” films, was the brother-in-law of Republic action director William Witney. As a young man, Witney lived with his sister and Clark (known to his family as “Bert”)studying for his examination into Annapolis. During this time, Witney was an office boy at Mascot Studios (which was to become Republic). Clark was a scriptwriter at Mascot and also “kept” script, watching for continuity in the scenes on location, to make sure the footage matched.

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