I'm getting back to watching a batch of Western movies today. I found this 4 pack of Universal Westerns in the used DVD section of a local shop this morning. There are 2 movies per disc and the quality is pretty good. There seems to be a number of these Universal 4 movie collections on Amazon, most in the 5 buck price range. Many of the films had single releases. I just put several 4 pack film sets, including one with Jimmy Stewart, on my wish list to order soon. I got this set locally and it's in fine shape. With the 20% sale that was going on at the Electric Fetus this set was just over 3 bucks.
Albuquerque is a 1948 Randolph Scott movie. He's traveling by stagecoach when it's held up by some baddies and a woman, played by Catherine Craig, is robbed of $10,000. Randolph is the nephew of the town's rich guy and when he finds out that his Uncle is a crook he goes off and joins up with Catherine who was robbed and her brother. The rich Uncle, a typically terrible greedy prick, uses all sorts of dirty tricks and henchmen to try to put them out of business. After Randolph foils one of his tricks Uncle blows up a mine and frames his nephew for it. Nothing but money and power in his life. Randolph and Catherine get some romance going and that's tested when she thinks Randolph was guilty but that's all settled by end of the movie. Gaby Hayes plays Randolph's new friend and comic relief. Lon Chaney Jr plays the rich Uncle's main henchman. It's a typical type of story but well told and well acted.
Whispering Smith is a 1949 Alan Ladd movie. Alan is a railroad detective called Luke Smith. His nickname is Whispering, named after his low voice when he gets the drop on a fellow. He's chasing the Barton Brothers and they lead him to a town where is old friend Murray, played by Robert Preston, and his wife Marion, played by Brenda Marshall live. Marion and Whispering Smith had something in the past. Murray is a bit crooked and he's going to have to pay for that before the movie. Even more crooked is his neighbor rancher played by Donald Crisp. He'll die from a gut shot and I cheered. It's a pretty good story and I liked the characters. William Demarest, Donald Crisp and Frank Faylen are in the cast.
The movie is based on a novel by Frank H Spearman and it was filmed as a silent movie in 1906 and 1926. It was Alan Ladd's first color movie and first Western. There was a Whispering Smith TV show with Audie Murphy based on the book and movie. The big back lot town and railroad station set for the movie would be later used for other western TV shows including Bonanza.
The Duel Of Silver Creek is a 1952 Audie Murphy film. The Wikipedia says it was the first time that Audie played a guy who was good through out the movie. This movie is directed by Don Siegel and written by Gerald Drayson Adams and Joseph Hoffman. Don was the uncredited director of the montage in Casablanca. He would go on directing for 40 more years and create some entertaining movies including The Killers 1964 and Dirty Harry 1971.
Audie and his father have a gold mine. Claim jumpers kill the father while Audie is in town. Audie gets deputized by a marshal who wants to get the claim jumpers. He goes after the claim jumpers and you can imagine what happens to them. Faith Domergue plays a really bad woman and Susan Cabot plays a much nicer woman. Stephen McNally plays the marshal, Gerald Mohr plays one of the baddies and Lee Marvin play a gambler. It's a pretty good story and I enjoyed it. I'm not much of an Audie Murphy fan but he's OK here.
War Arrow is a 1953 Jeff Chandler movie. Jeff is Major Howell Brady and he's sent to Indian Territory to help the army fight rampaging Kiowas. He wants to recruit the peaceful, relocated Seminoles who live near the fort to fight the Kiowas. Maureen O'Hara, John McIntire, Suzan Ball, Charles Drake, Dennis Weaver, Jay Silverheels and Noah Beery Jr are in the cast. Jeff succeeds in getting the Seminoles to help by promising money and land. Of course the local fort commander is a knob and that complicates the story. Jeff and Maureen have a bit of romance. It gets complicated when her dead husband turns out to be alive and a bit of a scum sucker. It will end happily with his death. Not a bad story but not quite up to the others in the set. I still enjoyed it but I have to agree with Maureen regarding Jeff. He's just not that good an actor. I never found him to have much screen presence.
A nice group of films that I was glad to watch and will want to watch again sometime in the future.