Tough Assignment (1949)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Crime

Tough Assignment (1949) Poster

In order to investigate a modern-day cattle rustling operation, a newspaper reporter and his girlfriend infiltrate the gang.

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  • Marc Lawrence and Ben Welden in Tough Assignment (1949)
  • Don 'Red' Barry and Marjorie Steele in Tough Assignment (1949)
  • Marjorie Steele in Tough Assignment (1949)
  • Don 'Red' Barry and Marjorie Steele in Tough Assignment (1949)
  • Tough Assignment (1949)
  • Don 'Red' Barry, Marc Lawrence, and Ben Welden in Tough Assignment (1949)

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21 March 2011 | bkoganbing
| Undercover Newlyweds
Cowboy star Don Barry does not entirely forsake the wide open spaces as he plays a newlywed reporter who has a story fall into his lap as his wife Margia Steele takes a picture accidentally of some thugs leaving a butcher shop after roughing up the owner. They invade home and hearth of Barry and Steele to get the telltale photograph before it's developed.

It'a a one in a million shot that Barry just happens to be a reporter, but even newlywed domestic bliss doesn't deter him from his reporter's instincts. They go undercover to the ranch where the source of the rustling is.

That's what it is, plain and simple, cattle rustling like you've seen in hundreds of B westerns. But here it has a modern twist. The gang has several branches, the rustlers who use a ranch as a front for the cattle they steal. A slaughterhouse which we never see, but obviously has to be there. Finally on the city's mean streets, thugs are strong arming butcher's to take their uninspected meat just like in the days of Prohibition.

The movie moves quickly, but the story isn't well plotted out. And for comic purposes they have Sid Melton as a not too bright crook on the cattle ranch end with his 'girl' Iris Adrian who is two timing him with Marc Lawrence. Barry and Steele play Melton like a piccolo.

Though their places in the film are rather forced, I'm glad Adrian and Melton are there. They lend a bit of humor to an otherwise tedious noir film.

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