5 July 2009 | bkoganbing
The Wayne Family Seal Of Approval
Anyone who is expecting a word for word remake of the John Wayne classic Angel And The Badman will not be disappointed. With one glaring exception this Hallmark Channel remake sticks very close to the original story of a gunfighter reformed by a Quaker woman's love.
The exception is that instead of an innocent young unmarried girl as Gail Russell played in the original, Deborah Kara Unger is a widow with a young boy to raise which she is doing with her parents. She's a good woman, but even good women have their needs and when Lou Diamond Phillips as Quirt Evans literally lands on her doorstep, wounded after a gun battle, he gets her mojo going good and proper.
Wisely Lou did not opt for an imitation of John Wayne in his interpretation of the gunfighter. If he had he would have been laughed off the small screen. He's still one deadly individual and this screenplay make it clear just why Quirt Evans and Laredo Stevens as played by Luke Perry are fated to tangle.
The role of the marshal that Harry Carey played in the original is cut down somewhat, though Winston Rekert is effective in the scenes he does have. I liked the Carey character though, wish there had been more of the marshal in this one. The Wayne family put their imprimatur on this remake with the casting of the Duke's grandson Brendan Wayne as Randy McCall the sidekick to Phillips and played in the original film by Lee Dixon.
Probably important the Wayne family did that because the Duke's The Angel And The Badman was the very first film in which he not only worked on the production end, but also directed himself. Of the films John Wayne directed, that was far and away his best effort. So you can imagine the family had a big personal interest at stake.
I think even the hardest and most loyal of the Duke's legion of fans will not be disappointed with this version of The Angel And The Badman.