• "West of the Pecos" is not to be confused with any of the great westerns of all time, or even of the 1940s. It is, nevertheless, a competently done little RKO-Radio Pictures western that reaches a surprisingly high level of quality considering its undeniable B-picture status.

    First and foremost is the performance of the great Robert Mitchum in one of his earliest starring roles. I can't imagine how anyone would not be charmed by this seemingly laid-back, I-don't-give-a-dam young actor who offered viewers a persona pretty much unlike that of any other star. What was it about Mitchum that so many, me included, find so appealing? I guess it was his plain spoken, down-to-earth manner; totally unaffected, totally at ease regardless of whatever predicament he found himself in.

    The plot is somewhat routine, that's true. But the actors are all more than competent, and we are also treated to some beautiful outdoor photography. The film was shot on location near Lone Pine, California, an area that has appeared in many, many movie productions over the years.

    My only complaint, other than the fact that the script offers no surprises, is that there is almost too much comic relief, supplied mostly by Richard Martin, an actor who played a Mexican in many films despite the fact that he obviously never got beyond Spanish 1 in school. (I'm a Spanish teacher with over 30 years service, so take my word for it, the guy's Spanish accent is far from native.)

    I suggest you take a look for yourself. "West of the Pecos" is not a bad way to spend a bit over an hour. Especially if you are a Mitchum fan.