“Bonanza Town”

April 20, 2008

Finally, some clarity.

Right off the bat (after a little action scene with a runaway stagecoach) we learn that Charley is Steve Ramsey. He’s working for the Treasury Department as a “sorta spy.” He’s followed some marked money to Bonanza Town where he hopes to find a wanted criminal who got away from him before.

Wow. In the land of Durango, that’s a very clear backstory.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

However, five minutes later, a young dude rails against the injustice in the town and tells his father he’s found a way to fix it, “I’ve sent for the Durango Kid!” Dad is shocked, “You’ve sent for Durango?!”

Durango meets the dude and his group of vigilantes, “Who wrote me the letter?” “I did!”

A letter? Where did he send it?

Let me get this straight: Steve in town because he’s a Treasury Officer tracking marked money. But Durango in town because someone wrote him a letter.

The schism between The Kid and Steve grows wider. They each seem to have their own agendas.

Plot: Fred Sears returns from “West of Dodge City” as the villian Hardison. He also directs this film (as well as 50 plus other films for Columbia.)

That’s not all that returns from “West of Dodge City.” Nearly half of the footage does as well. Here’s how it works: Steve sits at a table with a guy and says, “Let me tell you about Hardison.” And then we watch a good twenty-some minutes of the 1947 film.

I’ll tell you all about “West of Dodge City” when I get the chance to see the entire film.

Some fun bits: some of the quickest Steve-into-Durango change-a-roos ever!

Some less than fun bits: all of Smiley’s clowning as a barber. It’s just tiresome. One musical number is actually introduced like this: A guy runs into the shop with some instruments. Smiley says, “What you got there?” “These things apparently make music.” And off they go…