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Texas, 1878: cheerful outlaw-buddies Jim, Lorn and Wahoo rescue spunky orphan Rannie Carter from rustling racketeers, then are forced to separate. Lorn goes on to bigger and better robberies, while Jim and Wahoo are (at first reluctantly) maneuvered into joining the Texas Rangers. For friendship's sake, the three try to keep out of direct conflict, but a showdown begins to look inevitable. And Rannie, now grown into lovely young womanhood, must choose between Lorn and Jim. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Streets of Laredo is directed by Leslie Fenton and adapted to screenplay by Charles Marquis Warren from a Louis Stevens and Elizabeth Hill story. It stars William Holden, Macdonald Carey, William Bendix and Mona Freeman. Music is by Victor Young and cinematography by Ray Rennahan.
For fans of traditional Westerns this is as solid as a Brick Adobe Structure. A remake of The Texas Rangers (1936) of sorts, plot finds Holden, Bendix and Carey as three bad boys who get divided by circumstance, love and conscious. Two of them wind up in the Texas Rangers - the famed frontier law enforcement battalion - the other stays on the wrong side of the law. All roads lead to the day of reckoning...
The production is the usual mixed bag of superlative location photography (Simi Valley/Gallup) and crude back projection so often seen in the 40s and 50s Oater releases, with Rennahan's Technicolor photography a treat for the eyes. Performances are assured because the three principal guy actors are given characterisations that suits them
Holden tough emotional anti-hero - Bendix a lovable and dopey toughie
Carey sly bad boy. Freeman is lovely but it's a dressage character,
while Alfonso Bedoya is on hand for some stereotypical bandido villainy.
At 90 minutes in length it feels a bit padded out until the two guys actually join the Rangers, so some patience is required during the first half. However, there is plenty of Western movie action within the story, some turns in plotting to grab the heart strings and a pleasing array of costumes and musical accompaniments to keep the senses perky. All told, it's just a thoroughly enjoyable Oater regardless of if you have happened to have seen the original version. 7/10
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