24 September 1999 | Penfold-13
Undistinguished B movie
Made in 1942, a film about patriotism is necessarily going to be a pro-Union all-American affair, as this B movie undoubtedly is.
Played by Robert Stack, Barry Conovan, a newspaperman, is sent to Texas some years after the death of Sam Houston, with the aim of getting the real skinny on the grand old man. He unearths some facts which make Houston more heroic than had been thought up North before, and then gets involved, and ultimately held hostage by Broderick Crawford's Henry Clay Jackson,.
Jackson is a Texan rebel, but Conovan discovers that he is no noble freedom-fighter, opting instead for robbing banks to fill his own pockets rather than for the greater glory of Texas.
The drums of patriotism beat loudly throughout the rather leaden script, which is flairlessly uttered by the second class actors.
Unless you happen to be a rabid Texas chauvinist who still thinks the Lone Star State is illegally occupied, the film is wholly inoffensive and passes the time. But it really is very ordinary.