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  • If you're anything like me, movies with no regard to continuity are just too distracting to enjoy. This little gem caught me by surprise right from the first few scenes because its continuity is absolutely dead on perfect. There are probably very few people who are fooled by sound stages versus the real outdoors. Not much can be done to satisfactorily convince the viewer that the actors are in the desert when they are actually in a studio with sand on the floor. BUT! This movie uses continuity to make the transition from indoor sound stage to outdoor reality as seamless and believable as I've ever seen. Watch closely as Wild Bill Elliot goes into a crouching position at the campfire on the sound stage to the exact same crouching position at the outdoor campfire. Someone cared about details like this in a 1950 western when it seems like no one in today's movie making industry can keep the level in a water glass within two inches of the proper level from scene to scene.

    Watch this movie for everything it has to offer, but while you're doing that PLEASE keep an eye on the near perfect job the continuity department did. I'm afraid this kind of pride in workmanship is a fading Hollywood legend.
  • Well above average western from Republic Studios. Elliott is 'Ringo', on the run and Davis is his brother, in charge of a cavalry command chasing him. Ringo stops to visit old girl friend, and becomes embroiled in a range war. Withers portrayal of a psychopathic mogul is convincing. Great supporting cast-Noah Beery Noah Jr. is the 'Kid' and Hamblin provides some enjoyable tunes along the way. Supposedly the title "Savage Horde" was a tribute, by director Kane, to actor Grant Withers, who appeared in "the Fighting Marines", a serial, containing a chapter titled "The Savage Horde." Unexpected climax can leave you wondering. A good western.
  • "The Savage Horde," a somewhat generic title unless the viewer considers Wade Proctor (Grant Withers) and his henchmen to be a horde, is a top notch Wild Bill Elliott oater with some of the best acting to be seen in a B western. The Standout performance from a fine cast belongs to former cowboy star Bob Steele as Dancer, proctor's aloof paid gunman who gets pleasure from shooting men down in cold blood. He reminds one of a similar character, Jack Wilson (Jack Palance), in the classic "Shane" a few years later. Keeping up with the likes of Noah Beery Jr., Douglass Dumbrille, Roy Barcroft, and Jim Davis is country western songwriter and balladeer Stuart Hamblen who wrote such standards as "It Is No Secret" and "This Ole House." He plays a clownish role with a tragic twist at the end. Lorna Gray and Barbra Fuller do well portraying frontier women in a man's world.

    The cast consists of a gallery of Republic support players with faces easy to recognize, though the names such as Bud Osborne, George Chesebro, Marshall Reed, and Wally Wales, aka Hal Taliaferro, may not register at first. Former cowboy star Kermit Maynard, brother to the famous Ken Maynard, plays one of the ranchers. He was also a noted stuntman by this time. Character actor Earle Hodgins, noted for his medicine show con artist pitch, has a small but telling role. He is not as obnoxious as usual, actually turning in a fairly restrained performance.

    The story is a familiar one about two brothers, one good (Lt. Mike Baker played by Davis) and one bad (John Baker, aka Ringo, played by Wild Bill Elliott). This time the "bad" one with a price on his head killed in self-defense but only his brother, the cavalry officer who has been assigned to track him down, believes his story. Ringo is determined to see an old flame to try to rekindle their romance and in the process gets caught in the middle of a range feud between cattlemen and homesteaders. The familiar plot has a few novel winds and turns before the final shootout involving plenty of action directed by B western master Joseph Kane. It is a Republic film so expect to watch the best stunt work around. The crisp black and white photography rests easy on the eyes and adds to the overall effect of the picture.
  • Wild Bill Elliott whose later westerns for Republic were pretty good does another fine one in The Savage Horde. He plays one of two brothers, a gunfighter named Ringo who shot an army captain and the army in the person of Colonel Douglass Dumbrille wants him. And charged with bringing him in is Lieutenant Jim Davis who is Elliott's younger brother.

    Escaping the army's clutches, Elliott arrives in the town of Gunlock which is in the midst of a range war started by the local Ponderosa owner Grant Withers who's backed by his tough foreman Roy Barcroft and a murderous gunslinger in Bob Steele. He's also got the local judge Will Wright in his pocket and he's courting Wright's daughter Barbara Fuller who is also being courted by young Noah Beery, Jr., the leader of the small ranchers. Seems that Withers thinks that government land and open range are his exclusively.

    Naturally Elliott sides with the little guys, but he's a fugitive and of course that is always in the back of his mind. But even fugitives are entitled to some romance and he has it with hash house owner Lorna Gray.

    As you can see there are a lot of plot elements, but they're woven nicely into a tight no frills story that doesn't waste a minute of film frame. Pay attention to Wright as a troubled figure and Withers who is a bit more complex than most standard B western villains are.

    Most of all there's Bob Steele who in my book was always better as a villain than a cowboy hero. His gunslinger Dancer ranks right up there with the villain roles he did in The Big Sleep, The Enforcer and South Of St. Louis. He's one murderous punk in this one.

    I would strongly urge anyone who is a western fan to check out this and other westerns done by Bill Elliott after he stopped being Red Ryder.
  • Superior Republic oater despite a title that suggests Ghengis Khan. Good screenplay, excellent cast, and occasionally good locations, lift this production beyond the routine. Most of all, there's the unsung Bill Elliot in the lead. He wasn't handsome and couldn't sing, but he was a good convincing actor who could make you believe his character was real. And best of all, no one, including Duke Wayne, was better at being plain ornery. Elliot's voice always had an edge to it that conveyed real authority. Unlike most cowboy heroes, he could have played the black hat as easily as the white one.

    I like the way the screenplay makes the characters more complex than usual. In fact, notice how bad guy Grant Withers wins almost every argument with Elliott, the other ranchers and the judge. He's shrewd, knows the law and people, and is nicely underplayed by Withers. Too bad, steely-eyed Bob Steele never got the big break his talent deserved. Probably it was because of his bantam size; nonetheless, he's almost scary as the hired gunsel.

    Adding his usual colorful character is that unmistakable motor-mouth Earle Hodgins as the gun huckster. Did Hollywood ever have a faster talker or a bigger snake oil salesman. Even the ladies are a cut above the cowgirl average. Booth comes across as the kind of gal any guy would like to hitch up with. Include in the mix, professional weasel Will Wright and professional nice guy Noah Beery Jr., and the movie amounts to an Oscar night among B-movie all-stars.

    Joe Kane puts it all together, though a couple of seams do show-- how did Elliott get away from army custody and show up suddenly in town. Was that me, my video copy, or a lapse in the editing. Anyway he arrives just in time with a cut face and no explanation of how he got away. But that's okay. The effortless barn dance more than makes up for a possible editing lapse. So, if you've got a spare 90 minutes, give this classic 1940's face-off between a big land baron and the little guys a try.
  • Johnny Ringo appears in many westerns and there are many stories about him. No one knows which are true or false. Here he appears with a brother, who is an Army Lieutenant.

    Ringo shot and supposedly murdered another lieutenant and the Army is after him. He holes up in a town where his old flame has a restaurant without his gun.

    There is a range war going on and he gets drawn into the side of the good guys. He has to pick up his gun again to save the day. Off he rides into the sunset with his brother to face charges vowing to his girlfriend he will return.

    Of course he will.

    Bill Elliott does a good job. He has been in over 200 films by the time he made this, so he had a bit of experience. Another veteran (Noah Beery Jr.) was also here as Ringo's partner.
  • Continuing to review movies and/or TV appearances of the original "Dallas" cast, regular or recurring, either previously or during or after the show, in chronological order, we're still in 1950 when Jim Davis is still at Republic once again teaming with leading man William Elliott from Hellfire and director Joseph Kane from Brimstone. Unlike in those last two pictures, here he's a good guy, a Lt. Mike Baker of the calvary, who's in pursuit of his outlaw brother, Elliott, who's killed a captain in his troop in self defense though only he knows it. I'll stop there and just say this was another rousing western from what would be referred to as the good ol' days that had plenty of great action and some good singing too from one of the supporting players, a Stuart Hamblen who later wrote "Open Up Your Heart (and Let the Sunshine In)" which I remember as a child hearing from some other kids not to mention Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm on "The Flintstones". And there's also a couple of fine lookin' ladies to also root for, too! Really, all I'll say is if you're in the mood for some old-fashioned oaters, The Savage Horde should be right up your alley!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Savage Horde" of the title refers to a gang of cattlemen trying to run the "nesters" off of their grazing land. A tried and true plot to be sure, but it makes for an entertaining 90 minutes under the capable direction of Republic's busiest director Joe Kane.

    In the prologue, we learn that notorious gunman "Ringo" (William Elliott) is on the run with his brother Lt. Mike Baker (Jim Davis) in hot pursuit. When Ringo accidentally wounds his brother, he decides to hang up his gun and move on using his real name of John Baker.

    Baker rides into the middle of a conflict between rancher Proctor (Grant Withers) and his gang and nester Glenn Larrabee (Noah Berry Jr.). After settling a dispute, Baker rides into town where he meets Livvy Weston (Adrian Booth) a former flame. Baker learns that Proctor hopes to marry her. In spite of his own reluctance to become involved in both situations, he ultimately does.

    The various raids, conflicts etc. are expertly staged by Kane who was a master of this genre. Republic also assembled a cast of seasoned veterans for the various parts. Proctor's gang is an example. First we have Bob Steele as Dancer the sadistic trigger happy gunman, Roy Barcroft as Fergus and Marshal Reed as Polk. Steele had been a star of his own series for many years but at this stage of his career was playing mostly villains. His portrayal of Dancer almost steals the picture. Barcroft on the other hand, appeared as a bad guy in just about every Republic western made in the forties and early fifties. Marshal Reed although never achieving great success had been around since the early forties playing villains for many of the so-called Poverty Row studios.

    Also in the cast or veterans Douglas Dumbrille as Col. Price, Will Wright as Judge Cole (whose side is he on?), Earle Hodgins as a fast talking salesman (what else?), Hal Taliaferro as Sgt. Jeffries, Lloyd Ingraham as Sam Jeffries, a nester and Charlie Stevens, George Cheseboro, Kermit Maynard and Bud Osborne in minor roles.

    Great action, lots of shooting, showdowns and fights.