3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Where's the river?
krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas
23 April 2006
Not a bad outing for Durango Kid fans; there's plenty of action with
the second lead, Jock Mahoney, playing who else but...Jack Mahoney.
Jock doubles for Charles Starrett as the Durango Kid, which made
doubling easy yet complicated. In one scene Jock Mahoney as Jack
Mahoney is chasing Jock Mahoney as the Durango Kid, in other words Jock
is chasing himself. Having two cowboy leads is not necessarily doubling
the viewer's fun. Though Mahoney and Starrett worked well together,
much better than Smiley Burnette and Starrett, attempting to give the
Saturday matinée crowd two heroes at one time tended to confuse the
Smiley gets to perform, showing off his multitude of musical talents,
including a harmonica duet with Harmonica Bill. His comedy is lame to
the point that the film makers speed up the action mechanically to make
Smiley appear funny. At the end Smiley talks directly to the audience
which had been done previously by the likes of Groucho Marx, George
Burns, and would be one of the highlights of the later movie, "Tom
Jones." The way Burnette does it seems a bit forced and distracts from
the denouement of the film.
The story centers on a stage line run by pretty Betty Coulter (Delores
Sidener in her only film appearance) who hires Jack Mahoney to help
after Jack's father, Henry (Edgar Dearing), is murdered by Pop Rockland
(Steve Darrell) in retaliation for Henry killing one of Pop's sons
during a stage coach stickup. During the fracas, Jack and Betty fall
for each other. A seemingly disreputable outlaw, Steve Baldwin
(Starrett in yet another of his "Steve" manifestations), enters.
Baldwin tells only Henry that he is a postal detective on the trail of
thieves who have been robbing the U.S. Mail. Circulating a fake reward
poster that reports Steve as a wanted man with a price on his head,
Steve is able to join the outlaw band to catch Pop and his surviving
two sons. Playing a pretend bad guy, Starrett gets to show off his
acting ability. He actually does a good job portraying the good and the
bad in the same person to the point that he even looks different when
he changes from one character to the other. His third role as Durango
is a bit less challenging, since Durango wears a mask.
The title "Pecos River" is even more irrelevant than usual for a
shoot-'em-up. Not only is the Pecos River not in the picture, but there
is no river at all. The scenery looks a lot more like southern
California than any place in Texas.
Though this Durango Kid outing is somewhat routine, fans of Charles
Starrett and Smiley Burnette should enjoy it. "Pecos River" also gives
the viewers a chance to see a great stuntman turned actor, Jock
Mahoney, in a starring role yet still performing stunts.
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