27 March 2006 | btfkelly
The Red Hair Says it All!
Dr. Sam Martin of Prairie Dog, Out West Somewhere, appears to have it all. He is the town superhero, beloved by everyone. Within the first five minutes of the film he chases down the stage to get someone else a lift, cures a roomful of sick and hypochondriac townies with gentle wit and wisdom and short-circuits a potential diphtheria epidemic. He is also the betrothed of the Technicolorly garish red-headed Hannah, daughter of the biggest shot in town. The perfect couple is within a mare's whisker of tying the knot when all this good is smacked in the kisser by the evil Kirk Denbrow and his thriving brood of sociopaths. Papa Kirk spouts quotes from the Bible while blithely looting and pillaging the countryside. So far, pretty normal in the Hollywood West. There is a white sheep son named Ben, however, who with his much abused, sick and Totally Ruined Mom, has forsaken the Psychos-Are-Us chapter of Prairie Dog and seeks to build an honest, but poverty stricken life for himself. Ailing Mom brings Super Doc into the picture and the doc attempts to save and make whole Mom and Ben and anyone else who gets in the way. His altruism is rewarded, of course, by losing the undying devotion and love of his fiancée to Ben, who is merely human, and the respect of every man, woman, child and barnyard creature in Prairie Dog - except for the Jackorski family who are foreigners and don't know any better. The Doc sticks up for Ben when the gentle townsfolk want to string him up for being a Denbrow. They are too inept to catch the bad Denbrows, who never seem to have to commute too far to hang some mayhem on the genial villagers, but any Denbrow is at least a start. Threatened by a bogus trial and sensing a neck stretching before the verdict is returned, Ben rejoins his loony Dad, when Dad, seeking to regain his lost son, breaks up the cock-eyed trial. Hannah, whose hair seems to get even redder as the picture goes on, joins Ben on the hoodlum trail and we're off to the races.
The unusual aspect of this picture is the total straightness with which all this is presented. Believe it or not, you may find yourself buying all this. Every time I found myself saying "This can't be", I would get sucked back into it. Over a bottle of red-eye, the cast and crew might have said, "we make wacky work at Columbia". And maybe they did.
Worth seeing for Edgar Buchanan as Preachin' Pa Denbrow, Virgina Brissac as Sufferin' Ma Denbrow, and Evelyn Keyes' red hair.