For showing cowardice during a holdup, bank teller Bob Hunter is fired. He joins the Mounties and is assigned to look for those robbers. To have him work undercover, the Inspector's scheme ... See full summary »
For showing cowardice during a holdup, bank teller Bob Hunter is fired. He joins the Mounties and is assigned to look for those robbers. To have him work undercover, the Inspector's scheme is to have Bob supposedly kicked out of the Mounties. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Charles Starrett is the hero of this crime film. He's not to be confused with Joe Starrett, the plain-spoken and God-fearing farmer in Shane. Also present are Adrienne Dore, not to be confused with her son, who became an artist of little repute and adopted the pretentious name of Gustave Doré. And, somewhere near the bottom of the cast list, is Farnham Barter, whose name should never be spoonerized. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are called "Mounties" in this film, are now known as the "RCMP." If you keep all that in mind, you can sit back and enjoy this modest one-hour-long story, and perhaps get a kick out of seeing Starrett in something other than traditional 1930s cowboy garb.
Bank teller Starrett is unjustly accused of cowardice during a bank robbery by the Madigan gang. He's fired by the pinch-faced owner of the bank for letting the bandits get off with sixteen thousand dollars, a figure he keeps bleating at the trial, while never mentioning that an innocent bystander had been killed. This is 1934, you understand, and these Midwestern gangs were a sensation at the time. Bonnie and Clyde were shot the same year the film was shot, and bankers could be portrayed as voracious money mongers.
The tale gets a bit complicated. It takes Starrett into the Mounties and has him go under cover as part of a team effort to nail the Madigan gang.
The movie is clumsily shot and edited. The camera lingers on a constable as he slowly removes his Sam Brown belt, a cord around his neck, his regular belt, his pistol, and one or two other accessories. It takes a full minute of screen time, while we wonder what's going on -- besides a Mountie getting more comfortable. But nothing else is going on.
But there IS one startling scene at about the halfway point. The Madigan gang are holed up in a woodland cabin, drinking and bitching about the lack of "action." A knock on the door. Madigan opens it and his manner turns fawning. But we don't see who the Big Boy is because the camera has adopted the first-person point of view. Madigan offers the camera a drink. The camera lights up a cigarette and sits down, never saying a word. Clearly, this is supposed to keep us from knowing who the Big Boy is but, if we've followed the story at all, it ironically reveals his identity at once. We KNOW it's a character we've already met, otherwise why hide his face? And we know who it is.
There is a bit of gun play in the movie but not much. The firearms go off with curious little pops.
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