Monday, December 10, 2007

The Return of the Durango Kid

Okay, the plot of The Durango Kid had Charles Starrett playing Bill Lowry, who returns to the old homeplace to avenge the death of his father. The plot of The Return of the Durango Kid has Charles Starrett as Bill Blaydon, who's out to avenge the death of his father. Hey, nobody ever said originality was the strong point of the B-Western.

And besides, there are some changes besides the Kid's name. The Sons of the Pioneers have been replaced by the Jesters, who aren't bad, to tell the truth. The villain isn't the same guy, but he looks like the same guy, with the same moustache. He's slick with a derringer, though, and the other one wasn't. Tex Harding is introduced as a sort of non-comic singing sidekick. Tex was Dorothy Dix's brother. That's for you codgers who are old enough to remember Dorothy Dix. And for the same crowd, one very minor bit player in the movie is Elmo Lincoln. One or two of you will know who that is.

The movie rambles a long without much pretense at making sense, but the plot is sort of a Yojimbo deal (or maybe a Red Harvest deal), as Starrett plays off the members of the gang against each other until all but one is jailed or dead. Starrett makes almost no attempt to conceal the fact that he's the Durango Kid, and in fact the disguise plays no sensible part in the movie. Starrett could have done everything without it. But he looks good in black. And speaking of looking good, Jean Stevens does, too.

At the end of the movie, the Kid rides off into the (metaphorical) sunset after saying that Dan Cass, the Texas train robber, has escaped from prison, and something has to be done about him. So we can rest assured that the Kid will return.


Todd Mason said...

I think you underestimate the memory-searing quality of the stills of Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan, Bill...Tarzan as football player gone to seed.

Bill Crider said...

And somewhat seedier 25 years down the line.

Gerard said...

Dan Cass =? Sam Bass

Bill Crider said...

Sounds reasonable.