Saturday, January 26, 2008


Thanks to John Hall I got to see this Durango Kid movie starring (of course) Charles Starrett. There aren't any posters on the web, so no picture this time. The plot's pretty simple (no surprise). Somebody's selling guns to the Indians and stirring up trouble so there'll be more opportunity to sell more guns. Starrett's trying to prevent trouble, the the chief is killed during a visit to a fort near Laramie. That means war.

There are a lot of interesting things about his movie. The singer is Elton Britt, and he sings probably his biggest hit, "Chime Bells." Britt could flat-out yodel. He sings "Molly Darling" with no yodeling, and it's good, too. I'm listening to him on Rhapsody now, just for fun. Smiley Burnette is the comedy relief, and he sings, too. Not as well as Britt, though.

The most entertaining bit for movie fans is the climactic scene when the bad guys, disguised as Indians, take off after a stage. Suddenly the scene turns out to be Monument Valley, and the small band of bad guys has been transformed into dozens. Sure enough, the filmmakers have taken the scenes from
Stagecoach and intercut them with some filmed for the movie. Which explains why Starrett appears wearing a flap-front shirt just before the scene begins. I suppose none of the matinee crowd noticed this back in 1948, but a movie buff today couldn't miss it.


Rand said...

Isn't it a "bib-front" shirt?
And was the chief killed at a fort near Laramie, or was he at Fort Laramie, a well-known gathering place for various tribes in frontier Wyoming about 100 miles from the town of Laramie?

Bill Crider said...

"Bib-front" sounds right.

"Fort Sanders, West of Laramie."

Rand said...

By god, there really was a Fort Sanders, except it was south, not west, of Laramie. Who'd 'uv thunk it?... historical semi-accuracy in a Durango Kid oater?

Bill Crider said...

Must not have been too far from Monument Valley.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am a Starrett fan as well. I was wondering where you found "Laramie". I would like to see it alot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.