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Lopez is a bandit who has stolen the herd at Gil's ranch, so Hardy is about to foreclose. But Lucia has come back from New York and Gil is happy until he meets her husband, Morgan. Saying that they are friends, Morgan wants to buy the ranch before Hardy forecloses, and Gil will sell, but Lopez shows up with all his men and holds them all captive. Lopez has his own law, carried out with a 44 - and he plans to settle everything according to his vision of life. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Bad Man is a showcase for the talents of two of the biggest scene stealers in the history of film, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore. With those two around the rest of the cast didn't have a chance.
This is the fourth remake of this story, including both a silent film and the plot relocated to revolutionary China for a version starring Boris Karloff. Since we haven't seen another version for almost seventy years, I think we can assume this will be the last one.
Lionel Barrymore and his nephew Ronald Reagan are trying to make a go of a broken down border ranch which if they're not dealing with raids by Mexican bandit Wallace Beery, they've got a skinflint banker in Henry Travers who's holding the mortgage and wants it paid in full. He's got a notion there's oil on the property and is looking for oil man Tom Conway to develop it. Complicating matters is Conway's wife Laraine Day who really loves Reagan.
Everything gets changed in their lives when Beery comes a calling. He even gets Nydia Westman together with cowhand Chill Wills, mainly to keep her away from him.
The film is tailor made for the personalities of Beery and Barrymore. Beery simply dusted off the persona of Pancho Villa from seven years earlier and went to town. Barrymore's played old coots like this, lovable and not so lovable, a gazillion times in the film.
While Ronald Reagan was at Warner Brothers, this was the only film that Jack Warner lent him to another studio for. I remember when Reagan was president saying something like if he could handle Wallace Beery stealing scenes, he was ready for Brezhnev. Personally I think he was better dealing with Brezhnev.
The Bad Man is an easy to take film, very amusing in spots, but it helps to be a fan of either Wallace Beery or Lionel Barrymore.
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