The Utah Kid (1930)

  |  Western

The Utah Kid (1930) Poster

Cal Reynolds, known as The Utah Kid eludes a sheriff's posse and takes refuge in Robber's Roost, a hideout for outlaws running from the law complete with its own dirt-floor saloon. Jennie ... See full summary »


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23 April 2002 | arthursward
| Frankenstein's Monster on horseback...
This reviewer won't address the quality of this Tiffany release versus other Rex Lease oaters. My main motivation for seeking out this otherwise forgettable antique was to view Boris Karloff in one of the many different roles he took between 1929 and 1932.

The film opens with white-hatted Rex Lease (as Cal Reynolds) being chased by a posse. [Given the number of splices in this print, the film may be missing footage] His crime is never revealed and his horse clearly steals acting honors during this sequence, sending the posse the wrong way. Fortunately, Cal evades the law, gaining sanctuary at the "Crook's Hideout". Karloff (as Baxter) drags in a young woman at this point. Her presence is unexplainable, saying she followed Cal, but not why or how she's a better tracker than the posse. Enter Tom Santschi (as Butch) to claim the girl. Baxter objects and gets punched. Now, there was a time before sound effects made cowboy fists sound like firecrackers and this was it. Santschi punched Karloff. Hope they got it in one take! Anyhow, Cal MARRIES Jennie (played by Dorothy Sebastian) to save her from the black hats. Wish Jennie'd told Cal she's engaged to the sheriff...

It's classic antique talkie fodder, complete with scenes filmed at silent speed, out-of-focus shots and the cacophony of early RCA photophone. Karloff's got plenty of screen time and where he rides his horse into a scene watch him crash into Santschi's horse. Makes you wonder why Raoul Walsh's "The Big Trail" didn't clean-up at the ticket window that year.

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