Tuesday, 19 August 2014
The Lucky Texan (1934)
Every time I sit down for one of the films in this pack that isn't Stagecoach, I cross my fingers that it'll be something other than yet another of the almost entirely interchangeable low budget schlock he pumped out in the 30s. I hit paydirt with Angel and the Badman, and I hit ... something ... with this, the last film in the set.
There's a fair bit of this movie that's straight out of the poverty row playbook: there's an old timer who needs Wayne's help and who just happens to have a pretty young female relative, there's a crooked businessman who has Yakima Canutt as a henchman, and there's the hero getting arrested for a Crime He Did Not Commit.
But it's like the film took those ingredients and mixed in a big dose of crazy powder. This is a movie with Gabby Hayes in drag.
It's also a movie with a Lassie prototype as its principal method of plot development, a Keystone Kops-esque final chase scene (Horse + Car vs Rail Cart), some kid of broomstick-like surfing thing happening halfway through, and a random scene where the purported love interest - who spends all of about 8 seconds on screen with Wayne before they're kissing - pulling faces at a shop window for no apparent reason.
So, while it's certainly not good, I definitely wouldn't say it was 'almost entirely interchangeable' from the other films he did during the decade.