Remember Me?!

July 20, 2013

Hello 2012!

Mr. Charles F-ing Starrett in “Two Fisted Stranger”.

THE HAWK OF WILD RIVER is coming!

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Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Another scroll opening. This one reads: “Yadda yadda Old West yadda yadda swindlers yadda yadda get rich quick schemes yadda yadda gold yadda even diamonds…”

And then: “Leading the fight against these criminals in Nevada before 1870 was a mysterious rider known as the Durango Kid.”

Hmmm. “...in Nevada before 1870...” is mighty specific. It makes me think some kid in film school should do his graduate paper on the exact historical timing of the appearance of this mysterious rider.

1946 film has the town’s Sheriff killed, but not before he sends for Steve Gordon. Steve becomes Sheriff but his grit and determination don’t stand a chance against the passive-aggressive villain, Brady, who says stuff like “this is one for the books” and “afraid of the dark, are we, Sheriff?”

Amazingly, Smiley doesn’t pull any “funny” stuff until nearly a half-hour into the film. He keeps teasing: he’s about to take a picture…but nothing happens, he’s walking backwards towards a half-opened door…again nothing. Maybe my time machine worked! The one that sent the message back to 1946 which read “Stop clownin’, fool!”

Nope. He slips on some soapy water and next thing you know he’s photographing a goat, doing coyote impressions, getting married, etc, all to the expected non-hilarity.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The con man’s plan is two part: 1) steal a bunch of money so he can buy some cheap diamonds, 2) plant the diamonds and soak the town for $100 K in diamond mining machinery.

A first: Steve gets fired! This leads to an exciting scene of our hero sitting meekly on a couch, silently disapproving of the nefarious goings on.

I’m pretty sure this film is the origin of the much used and reused footage of Durango atop his white stallion Raider rearing up and doing a half-circle. We see it in nearly ever DK film with an opening montage about the “mysterious rider”. Another question for that film school kid to investigate.

I’m also convinced I’ve seen the jailbreak footage later re-used. Get on it, kid!

Neat exchange at the end, as Steve is about to get on Bullet and ride away.

Townperson #1: “Are you sure you never ran into the Durango Kid?”

Steve: “Why I never saw him in my life.”

Townperson #2: “It’s a funny thing to us. He’s only around where you are and yet you’ve never met.”

Yeah. Funny thing.

A lot funnier than Smiley.

Music is by “Zeke Clement [of Grand Ole Opry]” reads the credits.