Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Kid from Broken Gun

The Kid from Broken Gun (1952) was the last Durango Kid movie and marked Charles Starrett's final appearance on the silver screen. I wish I could tell you it was a classic, but that would be a lie. Like most of the movies in the Durango Kid series, it relies a lot more on action than on any semblance of logic in the plot.

It's partially a courtroom drama, too. Jack Mahoney, playing a character named Jack Mahoney, is framed for murder. At his trial, the story unfolds in numerous flashbacks, and it makes very little sense if you stop to think about it. Not that the audience would have cared, since the film seems aimed at six-year-olds. You'd have to be about that age to enjoy the alleged comic relief provided by Smiley Burnette. Smiley gets the song in the picture, too. Earlier films in the series had legitimate singers doing the tunes, but by 1952 budgets must have shrunk considerably.

The film looks good, and the fights and stunts are fun. There's a lot of early parkour-type stuff, with, I guess Mahoney doubling for Starrett. The cast is good, too. Tristram Coffin is the baddie, and Mahoney is fine as the wrongly accused man. I was glad to catch this on TCM at the recommendation of John Hall.

1 comment:

  1. I watched this myself.

    Most of the flashbacks are from an earlier film, to save money, a common device in later DK movies.

    It really seemed like they were grooming Mahoney to take over for Charles Starret, who was over 50 at the end of the series (pretty old for a kid), but TV came along and ended the whole B western industry.

    Then the greatest stuntman of his time ended up in "adult" westerns like Showdown in Abilene where he hardly did any stunts. A shame.

    His TV work in Range Rider and Yancey Derringer is more exciting.

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