August 3, 2008
Smiley and Steve ride into town together (this happens a lot less often than you’d think.) Steve Mason is a Texas Ranger and the Durango Kid, and Smiley knows both of these facts.
Dusty Morton, the infamous bandit who can shoot a rifle from his hip, has reappeared after a 10-year absence (or has he?). He’s set on keeping the McCormick Mine from reopening. But why? SPOILER ALERT: The stolen gold’s down there.
Morton’s son, Mike, has two heroes — his missing father (he doesn’t know he’s a bandit) and the Durango Kid. His surrogate mother says, “I’ve heard that the Durango Kid is the sworn enemy of all outlaws.”
Finally, a scene that encapsulates exactly what sort of jerk Smiley is. Little Mike has just been rescued from kidnappers and it’s his birthday. There’s a pile of presents on the table. “Are all these for me?” Smiley: “Sure are. Can I help you unwrap them?” and he digs in. That’s the kind of jerk Smiley is, the kind that robs a polite 13-year-old boy from opening his own birthday presents.
You can really date these films by gauging how well Steve pretends to find Smiley funny. This is 1947, pretty early in the series, because the smile still looks passably genuine.
Interesting twist where the bad guy who is masquerading as Dusty Morton wonders if the Durango Kid is really Dusty Morton. And they say there’s no more blood in this stone!
Nice stagecoach rescue.
The musical score in this one is really over the top, like something you’d expect to accompany a silent Melodrama.
Tunes by Curly Williams and the Georgia Peach Pickers (who are not characters in the film.)