Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Overlooked Movies -- Texas Rangers Ride Again

For a B western, Texas Rangers Ride Again has a stellar cast. But even a stellar cast can't save it.  It's a short movie, just over an hour, but the scene near the beginning with Akim Tamiroff doing his painfully unfunny comic Mexican routine seems to last forever.  And that's not the last we see of Tamiroff, which is too bad.  He may have won an Oscar later*, but this performance is painful to watch. Almost equally painful is the geezer romance subplot with May Robson and Charley Grapewin.

The plot of the movie involves large-scale rustling of thousands of cattle, primarily from the Dangerfield ranch, where Cecilia Dangerfield (May Robson) is in charge.  As soon as you see Anthony Quinn, you know he's a baddie, and that's not a spoiler, as his villainy is revealed seconds later.  John Howard and Broderick Crawford are the Texas Rangers sent to work undercover and root out the rustlers, which they of course do, with Howard romancing Slats Dangerfield (Ellen Drew) along the way.

This is a contemporary western, set around the time it was filmed (1940), so it mixes cars with horses and radios with carrier pigeons.  There's not much action until the end, and the comedy, of which there is much too much, is, as I said, painful to watch. Horace McCoy is one of two credited screenwriters.  Not his finest hour.  Some movies deserve to be overlooked, and in spite of the fine cast Texas Rangers Ride Again is one of those movies.

*Correction from Jeff Meyerson.  Tamiroff, never won but was nominated twice.  


Jeff Meyerson said...

Correction: Tamiroff did not win an Oscar, though he was nominated twice, both for movies with Gary Cooper.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Jeff. Faulty memory at work. I'll make the correction.