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In 1868, Army scout Johnny Ware is courtmartialed for helping Indians against their white oppressors, but escapes and finds himself in the hamlet of Desert Center. There, he crosses paths with Christine Larson who is about to marry one of the crooked Indian agents...but not if Johnny can help it. The film lapses frequently into comedy, with an action climax as our hero tries to head off an incipient Indian war. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Not being a particular fan of westerns, I watched this primarily because I wanted to see Lucille Ball in something other than an "I Love Lucy" or "Lucy Show" type of role. Here she plays Christine Larson, owner of a saloon in the Arizona Territory in 1868 who's about to be married to the unscrupulous local Indian agent (Dean Jagger.) Ball's performance was OK - nothing really more than that; she didn't blow me away. It succeeded for me in that the role was very different from what I'm accustomed to seeing her in - there was very little of the outrageous physical comedy she later became famous for, although the movie tried to maintain a gently amusing feel throughout. (A typical funny line - "there's two ways to deal with women - and no one knows either one of them!") I didn't find the story all that compelling, although I appreciated that the Indians were shown as the victims of the Indian agent. There's typical shootout action and a lot of horses - your typical western in other words. As to Christine - we pretty much can guess from the beginning how her planned marriage is going to end up; it's just a question of how she's going to get there. If you like westerns, this would be a pretty typical one with a bit of humour thrown in. If you're not big on the genre, this will be lacking. I'm not big on the genre. 3/10
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