Fighting Man of the Plains (1949)

Approved   |    |  Adventure, Romance, Western

Fighting Man of the Plains (1949) Poster

Former bandit Jim Dancer becomes marshal of a Kansas town and cleans up the criminal element - with the help of his old pal, Jesse James.


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27 May 2014 | hitchcockthelegend
| Wanted For Murder. Jim Dancer.
Directed by Edwin L. Marin and written by Frank Gruber, Fighting Man of the Plains stars Randolph Scott, Victor Jory and Jane Nigh. Music is by Paul Sawtell and cinematography by Fred Jackman Jr.

A solid and sturdy Marin and Scott Oater that finds Scott as an ex Quantrill raider assuming the identity of a dead detective in a post Civil War Lanyard, Kansas. Proving himself as a fellow made of stern stuff, he's quickly appointed Marshal and begins to clean up the town, but his past is sure to catch up with him...

Without breaking any new ground this still manages to get the key ingredients right in the name of entertainment. The script is sharp, the performances equally so (Jory is excellent), and Marin being the good old pro that he was, pushes things along at a good clip.

There's a lot going on in Lanyard, with various underhand plottings and a few vengeful motivations. While of course there's some simmering passion waiting to explode. The many key characterisations are richly born out, the action healthy, and there's even a couple of surprises along the way to keep the plotting interesting.

A couple of errors out there in the intranet universe need correcting. Some have it that Dale Robertson as Jesse James plays a big part in the cleaning up of Lanyard (yes Jesse is kind of a good bad guy here), but he doesn't as he's barely in it, but he does have a key scene to play in pics finale. So fans of Robertson, in what is believed to be his first credited role, should take that on board.

Secondly. I read a review that states Jory's Dave Oldham character is one of the shifty villains of the piece! He really isn't, he's firmly a friend and ally to Jim Dancer (AKA: Marshal Cummings), and it is he who is the one helping to clean up Lanyard. Another thing of note, filmed in Cinecolor, there seems to only be black and white prints of the movie available to view? Which is actually OK as the print I saw had that late 40s noirish vibe to the photography, but you would like to have the option of seeing the colour print for sure. 7/10

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