23 February 2008 | dougdoepke
Solid A-Western from lowly Republic Pictures. Unusually good performances from a larger than average cast. True, Elliot doesn't get much chance to show his special brand of ornery, but Tucker, Booth and Withers (Bagley) show their best stuff, and even Devine manages not to get too cute. Some good touches-- the hillbilly break-dancer, the scrawny comic-drunk, and the old-lady mastermind. Also, the bewhiskered guy playing the sheriff doesn't get many lines, but sure adds color and an authentic look. Then too, the plot of two brothers on opposite sides of the law and the girl, is saved from cliché by the imaginative train sequences, including a great avalanche effect from the best in the business, the Lydecker brothers.
Obviously Republic popped a bundle considering the scenic location shots and the train expense. Actually, my favorite scene is not an action-filled one; it's the office scene where the bigshots try to sort out blame for the gold robbery. It's really a special touch because most Westerns would not bother with talk about how robbery affects business types and high finance. Making one a Mexican is also an imaginative addition. The only reason I tuned in is because I'm an Elliot fan, but I've got to admit the movie was much better than expected. Old Joe Kane may not have been much of an artist, but as a director of Westerns, he never made a boring one.