|Index||3 reviews in total|
Jack Hoxie and Julian Rivero ride into town where night-riders have
been terrorizing the local ranchers. They get jobs with one of them
Jack Bower has a lovely daughter in Hilda Moreno.
Their reputations as gunfighters proceed them and they get accused of some murder and some rustling not necessarily in that order. But any true devotee of the B western can tell you within 10 minutes as to who the mastermind will turn out to be.
Though the film has a bit of humor to it, mostly because of Rivero, it was one of those that signaled the end of Hoxie's career as a movie cowboy. He was having trouble transitioning to sound and this picture demonstrates he was having dialog trouble.
The title card for this one promises Jack Hoxie "and an all star cast"
- which may be a bit of an exaggeration - but, it must be said that
Hilda Moreno plays heroine Rosita as if she really believes in it all
and Julian Rivero, as Pancho, comic sidekick to Hoxie's Montana, is
actually quite funny. Look out for the scenes where he "trains" the
vaqueros - very reminiscent of silent slapstick comedies and none the
worse for that.
Hoxie, himself, a former rodeo performer and star of many silent westerns, clearly found the transition to talkies difficult, to say nothing of the fact that, in honesty, he no longer looked the part.
Dynamite, the Wonder Horse looks pretty good though............
So Jack Hoxie wasn't so hot with dialogue, but he was great in several
non-speaking scenes and generally pretty good in the action. Especially
watch him when he is reading an instruction book while the other hands
are singing and playing guitars. His facial expressions: priceless.
He was one of the stars of B Westerns of the day, and this film helps explain why.
He is helped considerably by a superior cast, superior but generally unknown today.
His sidekick is played by Julian Rivero, born, according to his very short bio here at IMDb, in San Francisco, but sounding authentically Mexican (unlike another supposed "Mexican" obviously played by a Gringo).
Rivero is an enthusiastic performer and thoroughly believable, as is the leading lady, played by Hilda Moreno.
There is a stable-full of great cowboys, including the greatest of them all, Yakima Canutt, who gave one of his best performances, considering his character was a minor one.
This is early days of sound film-making, 1932, and, frankly, the fight scenes were still undeveloped, and, even with the presence of Yak, were not very believable or exciting. That's the only complaint I have.
Bud Osborne, Al Taylor, Slim Whitaker, and the great Hank Bell are all on hand -- without credit! -- and they always make any movie better.
Perhaps the key to the excellence of this film is a script by Oliver Drake, but director Armand Schaefer used exciting camera angles and lots of movement to further the action and Schaefer and Drake are just an unbeatable combination.
This is the first time I've seen Jack Hoxie in many years and I found this first-class print of "Law and Lawless" at YouTube Wednesday night, 17 February 2016. You can believe I'll be looking at as many more as I can find, and I recommend you do too.
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