The first film in which Charles Starrett played an alter-ego character known as "The Durango Kid" but this entry, for all intents and purposes, has only the names of Starrett and "Durango" ... See full summary »
Mesquite banker Calvin Drake plans to profit from the Santa Fe Railroad's acquisition of right-of-way by gaining control of the land in the territory. In the ensuing war of intimidation ... See full summary »
Charles Starrett makes his final appearance as The Durango Kid, this time as Steve Reynolds, a postal inspector who has gone underground to catch the bad guys. His longtime sidekick, Smiley... See full summary »
Fred F. Sears
The first film in which Charles Starrett played an alter-ego character known as "The Durango Kid" but this entry, for all intents and purposes, has only the names of Starrett and "Durango" in common with the long (long, long) "Durango Kid" series Starrett starred in from late-1944, beginning with "The Return of the Durango Kid" until 1952. Rancher Sam Lowry is killed by Mace Ballard because he learned that Ballard's men are waging war against the homesteaders. Ballard blames the killing on "The Durango Kid", a a mysterious frontier Robin Hood friendly to the homesteaders. This accusation makes Bill Lowry more than a little suspicious of Ballard for, unknown to anyone, he is the Durango Kid, a role he has assumed in order to fight against the Ballard gang. When Ballard's men raid the Ben Winslow homestead, they are driven off by Bill and his ranch hands but not before the home is burned and the cattle scattered. Taking a shine to Winslow's daughter, Nancy, Bill masks himself as "... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
That's what they used to call westerns, buckaroos. I had never seen a " Durango Kid" movie before; that series of films pre-dates me, and I'm glad there is still something I'm too young for. I was impressed with Charles Starrett, the big, strapping actor who plays a dual role as a farm owner and The Kid, and who got stuck in the role as have many Hollywood stars stereotyped into playing the same roles over and over. Too bad, because he was a great presence on the screen and it seems he could have played other parts in other genres.
This picture is entertainment from another time and another era, before Americans lost their innocence to TV and became pseudo-sophisticated. The premise is hackneyed and the outcome predictable; bad guy wants to drive out settlers to own all their land, good guy comes to the rescue, etc. "The Kid" wears a bandanna over his mouth, but still looks so much like the hero that the other folks in the movie come off as very low IQ not to notice the resemblance, much like Clark Kent/Superman.
The genial, stalwart hero is opposed by a no-good bad guy, played by Kenneth McDonald, a very recognizable presence who must have played a thousand villains in his career. Anyone who has seen any '40's westerns can fill in the blanks regarding the outcome to the story. It's 60 minutes well-spent, especially for those of us who remember simpler times.
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