Black Bart (1948)

Passed   |    |  Western

Black Bart (1948) Poster

California stage robber Black Bart meets European dancer Lola Montez.


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2 May 2019 | boblipton
| Lola Montez When She Danced
Dan Duryea is Charles Boles, a respectable rancher in Gold Rush California. He's also Black Bart, who holds up stage coaches. Wells Fargo has put a $10,000 reward on him. When his old confederates, Jeffrey Lynn and Percy Kilbride come to town, they take jobs with Wells Fargo. They're also working for themselves when they recognize Duryea and want in. However, Yvonne De Carlo has come to town -- she's Lola Montez -- and she and Duryea fall in love.

It's a highly entertaining and beautifully shot A western from Universal, directed by Henry Hathaway. It's also the ahistorical piffle that infused westerns. Lola Montez (real name: Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld) was indeed in the US and performing on stage by about this time, she died in 1861. The real Charles Boles/Black Bart flourished as a stagecoach robber from 1875 through 1883, was captured, spent four years in prison, was released in bad health and disappeared. No one in Hollywood ever let a little thing lack facts get in the way of telling an amusing story.

The highlight is Miss De Carlo's dances as Montez. She had spent half a decade playing uncredited eye-candy roles in Hollywood, before shooting to recognition in SALOME WHEN SHE DANCED. I remember her as Lily Munster, of course, and as one of the cast in Sondheim's FOLLIES; like many a beautiful woman, she had a great sense of humor and comedy about her beauty. She died in 2007, age 84.

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