THE MARSHAL OF CEDAR ROCK is a well-done entry in Allan "Rocky" Lane's series of film, but what makes this particular picture especially noteworthy is its featuring three regular cast members of the 1950s ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN television series. John Hamilton (Perry White) has a cameo as the prison warden at the movie's opening and is not seen again, but Robert Shayne (Inspector Henderson) and Phyllis Coates (the first season's Lois Lane) enjoy featured roles. It added a dimension of fun to an already fun film.
By 1953 when this film was released Shayne and Coates had already worked together on the SUPERMAN show, and while sharing only a couple scenes together do get a chance in this picture to do some different things. It was especially fun seeing Shayne play a ne'er-do-well after knowing him almost exclusively as the inflexible arm of the law. Coates gives a good performance, though it was one that certainly didn't stretch her as an actress. Here she is able to be romantic and sweet on her beau Bill Henry (as opposed to brassy and caustic as she often was to Clark Kent).
In an early scene Coates is on a runaway buckboard and who among us didn't half-expect to see George Reeves fly to the rescue? Never fear, Rocky Lane is here, and he did just swell pinch-hitting for the red-n'-blue cheese in saving the damsel in distress.
And speaking of beloved B Western institutions, this film features a grizzled old and bearded crabapple in the tradition of Gabby Hayes and Andy Clyde's California Carlson, but he didn't have the charm of either of those curmudgeons. I kept wondering how Uncle Nugget ever got elected head of the local cattlemen's association.
To me, these B Westerns are like potato chips: I can't stop at just one. And even when the this one is much like the preceding one, they're all entertaining and leave me looking forward to the next one. And the more a fella watches the more he enjoys seeing familiar faces pop up again like old friends, such as Roy Barcroft, who plays the baddie here (there and everywhere, it sometimes seems!).
THE MARSHAL OF CEDAR ROCK is worth watching by B Western buffs and is an absolute must-see for fans of the '50s SUPERMAN TV show. I just enjoyed it on DVD as one of the four films comprising Platinum's Great American Western, Volume 39.