West of Dodge City (1947) Poster

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One of the best of all Starrett's westerns!
JohnHowardReid23 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Charles Starrett (Steve Ramsey/Durango Kid), Smiley Burnette (himself), Nancy Saunders (Anne Avery), Fred F. Sears (Henry Hardison), I. Stanford Jolley (Borger), Bob Wilke (Adams, a henchman), George Chesebro (Hod Barker), Mustard and Gravy (themselves), Glenn Stuart (Danny Avery), Nolan Leary (John Avery), Steve Clark (sheriff), Zon Murray (Dirk), Marshall Reed (Flint), Jim Diehl (banker), Bud Osborne (stage driver), Almira Sessions (Mrs Throckbottom).

Director: RAY NAZARRO. Original screenplay: Bert Horswell. Photography: George F. Kelley. Film editor: Paul Borofsky. Art director: Charles Clague. Set decorator: Robert Bradfield. Music director: Mischa Bakaleinikoff. Assistant director: William O'Connor. Sound recording: Philip Faulkner. Producer: Colbert Clark.

Copyright 27 March 1947 by Columbia Pictures Corp. No New York opening. U.S. release: 27 March 1947. U.K. release: 30 January 1950 (sic). Australian release: 27 October 1949 (sic). 5,248 feet. 58 minutes.

U.K. release title: The SEA WALL.

SYNOPSIS: The crooked machinations of a villainous land-grabber are exposed by the Durango Kid.

NOTES: Starrett's 88th starring western.

COMMENT: I am amazed to be the first to review this entry as it is one of the most action-packed of all the Durango Kid westerns. As if that's not enough of a recommendation, just look at that cast!

It's true a fair amount of stock footage is used, but there's plenty of hard riding in the film itself. In fact "West of Dodge City" is so jammed with action that smooth plot development is often sacrificed and story continuity tends to be rather choppy.

Another of the joys of this movie of course is the presence of Fred F. Sears as the villain. We love his "tough" accent, and then his assumption of meek helplessness in front of Starrett, after the stage hold-up.

Ray Nazarro's direction is at his most competent level. As usual, he makes effective use of real locations and drives the story forward with plenty of pace.

This was Starrett's 88th movie western, so there's no doubt a fair amount of stock footage has been employed, but it all melts into the present film with very few obvious blips at all.
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