22 August 2006 | boblipton
Something Old and Something New
This pretty good RKO B western stars George O'Brien, whose career, which was going pretty hot in silent days, wound up in this series of solid B westerns for RKO. After he retired in 1940, his mantle was picked up by Tim Holt. The entire series is entertaining, even if there are usually some flaws -- in this one, there is a lot of trouble matching lighting from one shot to the next.
But the story is pretty good: it's a Reconstruction story, about how the ruthless carpetbagger is stealing old property through spurious tax claims. In this case, it's old Spanish Land Grant owners, in the person of Rita Hayworth, newly delatinized in appearance but still playing Hispanics.
Tim Holt is still learning his craft here and he's pretty stiff and callow seeming. He rarely got a chance to show his real ability and spent a long, happy career in B westerns, although he occasionally poked his head up, most notably as the junior gold prospector in THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE.
The rest of the movie is fun for looking at veteran talent: Neal Hart and Tom London in front of the camera, Oliver Drake in a scripting credit. All in all, a pleasant way to spend an hour, especially for fan of Hollywood westerns.