The Desperado (1954)

Approved   |    |  Action, Drama, Romance


The Desperado (1954) Poster

From 1870 to 1873, Texas suffered under the carpetbag administration of Reconstructionist Governor E. J. Davis (the name and the stated conditions were about the only things authentic in ... See full summary »


6.5/10
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10 June 2020 | SnoopyStyle
5
| bad filmmaking
"There is one dark and grim page in Texas history; it concerns the three years 1870 to 1873, during which Texans suffered and smouldered under the carpetbag administration of Governor E. J. Davis. Texas law was administered and enforced by a despotic organization called the Texas State police -- known as the "Bluebellies". Constitutional rights were ignored -- such as the right to keep and bear arms, the right to have public meetings, private property rights and most of the other expressions of human dignity and freedom of which Texas has always been so rightfully proud. Naturally, they did something about it..."

It's not the right way to gain sympathy. From the start, the Bluebellies have barely done anything and the rebels are already throwing dynamite at them. This is definitely a movie for the Confederate flag crowd. Even so, it does not understand how to gain the rooting interest. They have to suffer from true tyranny first before they can fight back. If the rebels throw the first punch, then the rooting interest is lost. This movie assumes the audience's sympathies right from the opening text. It is possible to go darker if they are simple criminals fighting the cops but this movie is saying something else.

Eventually, we do get to the police beatings but it looks fake. Honestly, one of the slaps missed entirely even as an acting fight. Then they escape in the least difficult way possible. I'm willing to judge this without accuracy or subject matter concerns. I'm not willing to ignore bad filmmaking. It's bad melodrama. The acting is average to bad broad work. The leads are never that appealing. At best, it's a workable B-movie. As for title, shouldn't it be plural? This is probably a cult classic for right thinking Americans.

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