Bad Lands (1939)

Approved   |    |  Action, Drama, Western

Bad Lands (1939) Poster

A posse of nine and Sheriff Bill Cummings set out after a renegade named Apache Jack, who has murdered the wife of Lopez, one of the posse members. The others are Rayburn, Chic Lyman, Billy... See full summary »



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8 November 2003 | boblipton
| A B+ Movie
A topnotch ensemble cast and brilliant photography by Frank Redman make this little-known RKO western a sleeper that can only be compared to John Ford's Stagecoach, released the same year.

A posse pursues Apache Jack (played by John Payne) into the dessert, in a western variation of The Lost Patrol. The result is a nice variety of types played by veteran -- and up-and-coming -- character actors.

While Ford had begun using Monument Valley at this time, this movie was shot at Mount Whitney -- after seeing it in a hundred movies from Gunga Din, released the same year, on downward, you get so you can recognize the boulders. But while the prints of Ford's movie are pretty battered, this one is nearly pristine: the beautiful shadows producing shots like Hurrell portraits. See what a black and white movie is supposed to look like!

So this goes to the top of my list of sleepers. If you get a chance to see it, do so and let me know what you think.

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