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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Valley Of The Sun is an offbeat comic western that stars Lucille Ball in a role you would normally see Dale Evans do over at Republic with Roy Rogers. But Lucy and the rest of the cast acquit themselves well under the handling of director George Marshall.
Lucy runs the Busy Bee Cafe in Yuma where she's all set to marry Indian agent Dean Jagger who makes a nice living cheating the Indians. That was a great racket in the old west and who's to complain as they don't have the right to vote as yet. Army scout James Craig cares however, but he's had to bust jail after helping a couple of falsely accused Apaches escape.
In making his escape Craig runs into both Lucy and Jagger and then has a dual mission to stop that wedding and get some justice for the Indians. Do you doubt he will succeed?
This western moves at a really nice clip with the comedy some of the rough house kind like Jagger having a stagecoach run over some cactus to dislodge Craig who is riding by hanging on to the boot. Nevermind though Craig pays him back good in stopping that wedding and I won't reveal how.
George Marshall was one of the great comic directors from the last century and never gets the due that he should. This minor picture for RKO shows him at his best.
I remember back in the day in New York City when I was a kid, Valley Of The Sun was run frequently on WOR TV as they owned the entire RKO Library. It seems to have fallen out of favor in the past several years though for reasons I can't explain. This is a really fine film.
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