Cheerful outlaw Charlie Boles leaves former partners Lance and Jersey and heads for California, where the Gold Rush is beginning. Soon, a lone gunman in black is robbing Wells Fargo gold shipments. One fateful day, the stage he robs carries old friends Lance and Jersey...and notorious dancer Lola Montez, coming to perform in Sacramento. Black Bart and Lance become rivals for both Lola's favors and Wells Fargo's gold. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Black Bart is an interesting movie and well above the norm for the standard studio product of its day.Not only is it splendidly photographed,with a lustrous use of colour that sets it apart from the herd,it has a wonderfully dry and laconic wit that adds a touch of verbal eloquence to proceedings.Indeed I was reminded at times of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"in the banter between characters some of which would have sat well in the mouths of characters in a Philip Barry movie or other practitioners of the drawing room comedy.The script is also insouciantly epigrammatical with a pleasing sense of amorality--its leading characters are outlaws and perfectly at home with themselves and their profession.Naturally.this being a 1948 movie they are not allowed to get away with it but the morality is quite unique for the period
We first meet Charles Bowers,later to become the title character,when he and his compadre "Lance"are about to be hung,a fact they greet with stoicism and flippant banter,when they are rescued by ex banker turned outlaw the grizzled veteran Jersey--well played by Percy Kilbride(old Pa Kettle Himself)They split up and Charles ,with the connivance of an old friend,sets himself up as Black Bart a black garbed highwayman making away with Wells Fargo bounty in a series of stagecoach robberies.Lance and Jersey re-appear,recognise him and try to cut in on the deal.Matters get complicated when Bart falls in love with Lola Montez the celebrated singer and dancer who reciprocates the feeling but insists Bart lay aside his illegal trade and turn to more legitimate pursuits
It is a well acted movie with Duryea and Kilbride especially fine and De Carlo enters into the spirit of things with a brash and outgoing performance
Minor but interesting and I enjoyed it .Give a go -you won't regret it
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