24 August 2013 | Spikeopath
The law is an ass, so enter Al Jennings and The Long Riders.
Al Jennings of Oklahoma is directed by Ray Nazaro and adapted to screenplay by George Bricker from the book co-written by Al Jennings and Will Irwin. It stars Dan Duryea, Gale Storm, Dick Foran, Gloria Henry, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams and Raymond Greenleaf. Music is by Mischa Bakaleinikoff and cinematography by W. Howard Greene.
Al Jennings, as played here by Duryea, follows a life trajectory that sees him born into a legal family and thus take up the family trade. Known for his hot temper, it's not long before Al runs into trouble and burnt by the folly of the law when tragedy strikes his family, throws off his legal eagle clobber and turns to the outlaw life. Moving from robbing banks to robbing trains, and with the beautiful Gale Storm's token love interest holding his attention, Al and his brother Frank (Foran) decide to leave crime and go straight. But the past catches up with them and they inevitably end up serving time for their crimes. But there's another twist! The instability of the trial sees Al serve only 5 years of his life sentence and upon release becomes something of a prime mover in the Statehood of Oklahoma.
You sense it's all very romanticised from the actual life of Al Jennings, but in spite of some sub-standard acting and poorly scripted passages, it's still an enjoyable Oater. There's some decent stunt- work early on, a couple of rounds of knuckles (though the court room fight is not greatly constructed), chases, some gun-play and it's nice and colourful with Technicolor photography around the Chatsworth location shoot. So it's watchable enough, even if not very memorable then? Yes, that's about it really. 6/10