|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||17 reviews in total|
Born Hungarian André De Toth directed seven B series western between years
1951 and 1955 (B series films in Europe means that it were made with few
money and in a short time). This Bounty Hunter was one of them. It is a
solid, without ups and downs, and very estimable western. This modest film
deserves all the respect, admiration and gratitude possibles. An even in
times, when toughness is missing in service of computers special effects.
The film has got craft agility, is very well build and adequately played by
specialist stony face Randolph Scott (Boetticher's lonesome rider). We meet
efficacious Ernest Borgnine in a supporting role. Western lovers will enjoy
The Bounty Hunter sees Randolph Scott star as a Bounty Hunter tracking
down three murdering train robbers who may have settled down in the
small town of Twin Forks. It's directed by Andre de Toth, in what was
the last of six Westerns he made with Scott. It's written by Winston
Miller (story) & Finlay McDermid, and features support acting from
Marie Windsor, Ernest Borgnine, Dolores Dorn & Howard Petrie. Music is
by David Buttolph and Edwin B. DuPar photographs it at Redrock Canyon &
the Warner Ranch in California. Coming as it did during the 3D boom of
1953/54, it was shot in 3D but ended up being released in standard flat
2D. Out of Warner Brothers it was shot in their own color format known
During the early days when civilisation was pushing its frontiers farther and farther West, there roamed a special creed of men. . .neither outlaws nor officers of the law, yet more feared than either. For reward money--they tracked down criminals wanted dead or alive, and made themselves both judge and executioner in some lonely court of no appeal. They were called "Bounty Hunters".
The WarnerColor may be dull and lifeless here, but that in no way sums up this perky Randy Scott Oater. Scott was always at his best when playing loners or troubled and pained drifters, in short, when away from a group dynamic he was allowed to flourish as the fine actor he was. So it be here as he lays it on as a no nonsense good bad guy! Quipping away in the face of aggression, Scott is able to portray a man not to be messed with-who is happy to kill for cash-yet remain charming and always endearing himself to the audience. It's quite a knack to be so tough yet also be so affable. But Scott on form could do it in his sleep, and to my mind that makes this an essential film for Scott fans to consider outside of his work for Boetticher & Peckinpah.
Once he reaches Twin Forks, the film gathers apace and starts to unfold as a whodunit like mystery. Sure the writing is not forming the townsfolk with any great urgency, and by golly it isn't hard to figure out who the hiding out villains are. But watching the town start to crack under the strain of either being suspicious of thy neighbours, or fretting about being found out, makes for an entertaining piece as Scott moves about them with almost sadistic glee. The smiling assassin comes to mind! It put me in mind of one of Audie Murphy's best film's, No Name On the Bullet, so any fans of that film should certainly get much from this one.
There's nothing to write home about technically, Toth deals in standard file and rank direction and DuPar's photography is lost within the dull sheen deliverance at Warner Ranch. While the support cast are nicely dressed, and made up, but ultimately just talking props serving to let Scott grasp the film with both hands. But grasp it he does! With gun in hand, tongue in cheek and the heart of a lion, he lifts this piece above its many other budgetary failings. 7/10
The feared bounty hunter Jim Kipp (Randolph Scott) is hired by the
Pinkerton Detective Agency to track down and find three wanted killers
that robbed a train one year ago and recover the stolen money. The only
clue he received is that one outlaw was shot in the leg. Jim Kipp comes
to Twin Forks and seeks out the local Dr. R.L. Spencer (Harry Antrim)
to ask whether he recalls attending a man with wounded leg one year
ago. The doctor apparently does not recall but his daughter Julie
Spencer (Dolores Dorn) confirms Kipp's suspicion. Kipp decides to stay
at the hotel to investigate the town and most of inhabitants are
affected by his presence. Will he succeed to find the trio?
"The Bounty Hunter" is an average and entertaining western. Randolph Scott shines in the role of a tough, but fair bounty hunter, feared by outlaws and sheriffs. The identities of the killers are disclosed in the end and well resolved. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Feras Humanas" ("Human Beasts")
Another nice colour Western starring enigmatic goodie Randolph Scott -
in a fight I'd prefer him on my side over John Wayne any day. But not
his rubbish stunt double.
Pinkerton's hire him as a bounty hunter to track down a band of baddies all the way to Twin Forks whereupon he unaccountably makes the townsfolk edgy and nervous with regard to his perceived propensity to shoot people solely for money. He tells them more than once that he has to stay "hyer" for a while to figure out just who the baddies are. However, they all seem like a shifty bunch even Scott's frilly love-interest with parasol and picket-fence; but it's fun trying to guess who the felons really are. For the most part it's routine fodder and yet another nod to Destry Rides Again but there's a couple of surprisingly clunky and almost embarrassingly aimless shooting scenes with hats or objects shot off straight at the 3D cameras I even laughed during one of these untense moments.
Andre De Toth directed slicker Westerns than this but I always enjoy this kind of film with all faults, so enjoyed this one even though I've seen tens of thousands better. A pleasant and wholesome time-passer I wouldn't mind seeing again real soon and probably will if I know TCM UK.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's funny, but today Randolph Scott is practically forgotten--even
though his track record with film is unequaled. While John Wayne is
strongly associated with westerns, he did not specialize in them like
Scott and no one consistently produced great westerns like he
did--especially since his heyday of about 1950-1960. And, while this is
certainly not as good as the best of these, it's still a dandy film.
Before I start talking about the plot, however, despite Scott making such good westerns, it's odd that in so many of them small technical details often...well...stink. Like too many of his films, there is a fight scene where the guy doing the fighting is OBVIOUSLY a stuntman. The only way it might have been easier to spot was if they'd used a black lady for these scenes! Also, at the very beginning, Scott has a shootout with some of the worst editing I've seen in years. Clearly, despite his making good films, often the budgets weren't all that great--and this is little more than a B-western in that regard. But, because he was such a great and seemingly effortless actor, you tend to look past these glitches.
In this film, Scott plays a bounty hunter--which makes a lot of sense considering the title! However, when he's looking into a year-old robbery, people in a particular small town act amazingly unfriendly. Concensus seems to be that if there are any crooks in town, well, it's no one's business since they didn't hurt anyone in the town! And because they folks aren't especially civic-minded, Randy's got his hands full.
The acting, as usual, is good and the action and script also quite good. Plus, there were a few surprises here and there--enough that it's not just another run of the mill genre picture.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE BOUNTY HUNTER 1954
THE BOUNTY HUNTER is a western film made by Judy Garland's company, Transcona Productions, and Warner Brothers. The film stars, Randolph Scott, Delores Dorn, Marie Windsor, Ernest Borgnine, Howard Petrie, Harry Antrim and Robert Keys.
Randolph Scott is a bounty hunter with a reputation for bringing in his wanted men dead. Scott is approached by an agent of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. He is offered a large reward to find a trio of holdup men. The men had made off with $100,000 in cash. The Pinkerton Agency has not been able to trace the men. They have an idea that the unknown men might be hiding in the mining town of Twin Forks.
Scott hits the town under an alias and is soon asking pointed questions of the townsfolk. Of particular interest to Scott is the local doctor, Harry Antrim. Scott has reason to believe that one of the three hold up types had been wounded during the robbery. Antrim is not exactly forthcoming in the info department. His pretty daughter, Delores Dorn, lets slip that she recalls a bullet wound they treated.
There are several red fish of the herring variety thrown at Scott and the audience. In the mix here is Ernest Borgnine as the hotel operator, Dub Taylor as the post office man and Marie Windsor as a saloon girl. Once it becomes known that Scott is a famous bounty hunter, the pot soon gets to a boiling. People start to leave town and one man makes an unsuccessful play for Scott.
The pot is now overrunning and the unknown hold up crew start to lose their nerve. Needless to say that bodies start to pile up as the gang turns on each other. Scott follows the corpses till he arrives at the right bunch. There is a nice twist at the end when the gang members are revealed.
The director here is Andre de Toth. This was one of six films Scott and de Toth made together. While all of them, like this one, are watchable dusters, they do not match the westerns series made between Scott and director Budd Boetticher.
The odd camera angles etc present in this one are because the film was made in 3-d. It was however only released to cinemas in standard 2-d format. Director de Toth also filmed the popular 3-d horror film, HOUSE OF WAX. This is rather odd since de Toth only had one eye.
Right at the end of the film, future star, Fess Parker, as well as silent star, Buddy Roosevelt, have small bits.
The Pinkerton detective agency, unable to track down three violent
train robbers after a year, turns to bounty hunter Randolph Scott. He's
given very few clues to go on and has no idea what the men look like.
Still, he manages to track them to a small town called Twin Forks. But
the people there aren't particularly friendly towards strangers who
show up asking questions.
The last of six westerns director André de Toth made with Randolph Scott. This was filmed in 3D but only released in standard format. This explains why there are some 'in your face' shots where you have someone sticking something at the camera. Scott does fine in a by-the-numbers role for him and his stuntman works overtime in some decent action scenes. Despite the formula plot, the movie does a nice job of keeping the identity of the train robbers a secret. One is especially surprising. Nice supporting cast includes Ernest Borgnine, Marie Windsor, Dolores Dorn, and Dub Taylor. It's a pretty good western. Nothing extraordinary but above average for the period.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Protagonist Jim Kipp is a bounty hunter with a reputation for catching
those he goes after; it is this reputation that brings the famous
Pinkerton Detective Agency to his door. They had been hired to track
down those responsible for the robbery of $100,000 from a train during
which several people were killed. They only have one clue; the three
surviving robbers were last scene at a trading post one year ago. With
this tiny piece of information Kipp heads to the post and learns two
things; one of the robbers was wounded and they only bought provisions
for a three day ride. The only town within three days ride is Twin
Forks so he heads there. He soon realises he is in the right place when
people start lying to him although he still doesn't know who he is
after and there are plenty of other people who believe he might be
looking for them as they have committed other crimes. The longer he
stays in town the more tensions rise and things become more dangerous
for him; especially after he lets it be known that he is expecting a
picture of the robbers to come in the mail the next day.
This was rather an unusual western in that we don't know who the bad guys are until very end; this serves to keep the tension high as anybody could be a danger. Randolph Scott puts in a solid performance as Kipp; a character that may have been unlikable in other hands... his determination to get the job done is all that appears to matter to him. Dolores Dorn does a decent job as potential romantic interest Julie Spencer although Marie Windsor is more interesting as the sultry Alice. There is a reasonable amount of action here including several shootings and a brawl where one man makes the mistake of attacking Kipp and ends up sitting an a stove... for quite a while! There are plenty of suspects to choose from and when we do learn who the robbers are there are one or two surprises to be had; I must admit I only suspected one of the three! If you are a fan of Randolph Scott's other westerns I'm sure you'll enjoy this one too.
How can a bounty hunter be the good guy in a western? Easy, let him be played by Randolph Scott. Scott in his colored westerns had such a strong presence that no matter what he played , he was Randolph Scott above all. So never mind the contradictions in Jim Kipp, the bounty hunter, this is not James Stewart and Anthony Mann (The Naked Spur). This is one of the best of Scott's westerns efficiently directed by Andre de Toth, it is a bit of a "whodunnit" reminding "Three Hours to Kill", made in the same year. Great to see Ernest t Borgnine as one of the villains. At the beginning of the film Jim Kipp is a heartless bounty hunter, who gets his reward and then is asked by a Pinkerton detective to capture some outlaws. He concludes they went to a town, Twin Forks, and there, he starts searching for them. The point the film makes very well is how uncomfortable the people in the town feel knowing there is a bounty hunter among them. Randolph Scott's Jim Kipp has a lot in common with the characters he would play in the Bud Boetticher's westerns.
Plot heavy western that should please Scott fans, even if the film
doesn't. In fact, the lantern jaw actor carries the 80-minutes, at the
same time supporting players drift in and out rather aimlessly. Bounty
hunter Kipp (Scott) is on the trail of three baddies who've blended
into Twin Forks, so that their identities are now hidden. As a result,
Kipp has to figure out who the guilty ones are. Trouble is the
townspeople don't take kindly to being under suspicion, so he's got his
work cut out for him.
A plot like this relies greatly on script, which I found pretty loosely structured. Except for Kipp, none of the other many characters are sharply etched. Thus the mystery element never really gels, and with that goes much of the suspense until the last ten minutes. As you might expect this is not a scenic western, with most of the action taking place in a studio town. What the film does have going for it--in addition to Scott-- is the great Marie Windsor as, surprise, surprise, a dancehall girl. I just wish they had given her more to do. Some verbal face-offs between her and Scott would be explosive. Looks to me also like director deToth couldn't really engage with the script, despite his proved record with outstanding westernsRamrod (1947), Day of the Outlaw (1959).
Overall, the oater shows off Scott's powerful presence, but, I'm sorry to say, not much else.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|