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Smoky Canyon (1952)

Approved | | Western | 31 January 1952 (USA)
Government agent Steve Brent, alias the Durango Kid(Charles Starrett) gets involved in a range war between cattlemen and sheepmen in Timber Rock. Cattlemen sluaghter their herds to keep the... See full summary »

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Certificate: Passed Western
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Johnny is a young Indian boy who falls heir to thousands of wild horses when his adoptive white father is murdered by henchmen of the town's leading citizen, Grat Hanlon. With the aid of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jack Mahoney (as Jack Mahoney)
Danni Sue Nolan ...
Roberta 'Rob' Woodstock (as Dani Sue Nolan)
...
Carl Buckley
Larry Hudson ...
Sheriff Bogart
Raider ...
Bullet ...
...
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Storyline

Government agent Steve Brent, alias the Durango Kid(Charles Starrett) gets involved in a range war between cattlemen and sheepmen in Timber Rock. Cattlemen sluaghter their herds to keep the prices high---Economics 101---and blame the destruction on the sheepmen---Plot Device 6. Jack Mahoney (Jock Mahoney as Jack Mahoney), leader of the sheepmen, is falsely accused of killing rancher Jim Woodstock (Frank O'Connor), which leads Woodstock's daughter, Roberta (Dani Sue Nolan,somewhat miffed at Mahoney and she breaks their engagement. Brent joins the cattlemen, as a ruse, to find the real killer. Smiley Burnette sings a song called "It's Got To Get Better", but it doesn't. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

31 January 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Barranco da Morte  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the sheriff walks into Carl Buckley's office, they have a quick conversation, and Buckley gets up to leave in a hurry. But when he gets to the door he has to unlatch it before going out, right after the sheriff walked in. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Montana in the '80s - the cattleman was king, his herds grazed a hundred thousand square miles of pasture. There was so much room that fertile range land was going to waste - but not for long. Shepherds and their sheep sought the lush green pasture of the north.
See more »

Soundtracks

It's Gotta Get Better
Written by Smiley Burnette
Performed by Smiley Burnette
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Best of the "Durango Kid" Films
9 July 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Charles Starrett plays Secret Service agent Steve Brent, alias The Durango Kid (a masked rider dressed in black), who is caught up in a range war between cattlemen and sheep men in Timber Rock, Montana. Lawyer Carl Buckley (Tristram Coffin) and his henchmen (which includes the Sheriff) started the war as a way to kill off the cattle herds, a deal with a syndicate to drive up the price of beef. The cattlemen have combined their herds in "Smokey Canyon" (hence the title).

Jack Mahoney (Jock Mahoney a/k/a Jack Mahoney) is a sheep man who was once engaged to a cattleman's daughter Roberta (Dani Sue Nolan). Buckeley killed her father and framed Jack for the murder.

Brent infiltrates the gang to discover the murderer. Smiley Burnette (also using his actual name) plays a goofy scenic tour operator who is supposed to provide some comic relief. There is one very funny dream sequence featuring Smiley and some talking sheep.

1952 was the last year of the highly successful "Durango" series, Starrett made 65 films as the masked rider. In the films his civilian identity was always Steve, but he would use a different last name in each feature. His job as a Secret Service agent allowed him to plausibly take on a different occupation in a different town with each film.

"The Durango Kid" films are a rare example of a series that actually improved as it went along. Even in his forties Starrett could handle the action scenes and Mahoney often doubled as the masked rider. The duel identity thing was a real asset as it allowed considerable variety in each storyline.

"Smokey Canyon" benefits a great deal from the presence of Dani Sue Nolan. Her character is almost a contemporary heroine. She rides well, carries a gun, and joins in the action. Nolan was a talented actress and her casting seems to have inspired the crew to insert some actual close-ups into the film. Most of these things were just a series of wide shots so the close-ups, flashbacks, and dream sequences give "Smokey Canyon" the feel of a more expensive and modern film.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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