21 March 2008 | tmwest
Vaughn Monroe sings and shoots, Ella Raynes is beautiful.
In the early fifties, I was about 10 years old and my father forbid me to read comic books. Only books would do, he told me and one of the first books I came up with was Singing Guns by Max Brand, in a Brazilian translation named Armas Fumegantes with a great cover design. In the flap, I guess, it was mentioned that a film was made about the book with Vaughn Monroe. Who the heck was Vaughn Monroe? It took me more than fifty years to see the film and I sure enjoyed it. Monroe is very well cast as Rhiannon a man who has more than one million hiding in his cavern, which he took from the mine company. Ella Raynes is the beautiful Nan, the woman he falls in love with, Ward Bond is the sheriff, and Walter Brennan the good doctor who will try to reform him. Monroe sings three well chosen songs, one of them just before a showdown with the bad guy. The film was made in Trucolor, which is not much better than colorized, but it was one step better than the usual B western. The story is very good and the actors also, but the shootouts could have been better, and the bad guy less of a caricature. If you like westerns from the fifties you will not mind its faults and enjoy it like I did.