9 May 2015 | oldblackandwhite
Better Than Average But Incredibly Violent Johny Mack Brown Opus
No better example that Johny Mack Brown's rugged Westerns were not made for children exists than The Gentleman From Texas. This one is astonishingly violent even for one of his shoot'em-up, punch'em-down numbers. In the 55 minute running time there must be at least 30 characters killed, or approximately one every one-and-a-half minutes. Nor are the usual furniture-smashing saloon fist fights forgotten. Though Brown's and other low-budget Westerns of the 1930's and 'forties were actually aimed at uncomplicated rural adults, they were always seen and enjoyed by children -- unfortunately. Even realizing that those little snot-nosed bundles of fallen nature are born loving violence, that doesn't mean it should be encouraged in them.
That being said, this is surely one of John Mack's better efforts. Certainly not because of the unfortunate costuming choice which had him wearing the same distractingly loud checked shirt though the entire picture. Partly because of a refreshing absence of the sometimes irritating B-Western comedy relief. But mostly because of the excellent performance (both acting and singing) of beautiful, curvaceous femme fa-tale Claudia Drake, as a shady saloon girl who seems to be stuck on both her criminal boss (Tristam Coffin) and marshal Johny Mack. Likewise good support comes from Christine McIntire, as a rival floozy, and the always colorful Raymond Hatton. Charaterization is better than the average for a low-budget oater, the action scenes well brought off, and editing on the button. Well done by veteran director Lambert Hillyer.
This is a good one for those of you geezers who like yours truly will watch any Western. But don't let your grandchildren watch it!