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The Painted Stallion

USA 1937
produced by
Republic Pictures
directed by Alan James, Ray Taylor, William Witney
starring Ray Corrigan (= Ray 'Crash' Corrigan), Hoot Gibson, LeRoy Mason, Duncan Renaldo, Sammy McKim, Wally Wales (as Hal Taliaferro), Jack Perrin, Ed 'Oscar' Platt, Lou Fulton, Jean Carmen (as Julia Thayer), Maston Williams, George DeNormand, Gordon De Main, Charles King, Vinegar Roan

serial
Kit Carson, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Oscar & Elmer

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mexico has just freed itself from Spanish rule, & an US delegation is on the way to negotiate trade conditions with the newborn state, but some Mexicans like General Dupray (LeRoy Mason) are less than happy with any kind of trade agreements since they would seriously cut into their income made up mainly of collecting invented customs & taxes as well as ordinary thieving. So Dupray sends out his personal outlaw Zamorro (Duncan Renaldo) & his henchmen (to little surprise, Charles King is among them) to keep the wagontrek taking the delegate to Santa Fe.

The trek, led by US chief negotiator Clark Stuart (Ray Corrigan) & Walter Jamison (Hoot Gibson) is accompanied by an assortment of heroes of the West though like Jim Bowie (Wally Wales) & a very young (about 8) Kit Carson (Sammy McKim), & they have a secret & mysterious guardian, the Rider of the Painted Stallion (Jean Carmen aka Julia Thayer), a woman dressed like an Indian chief shooting whistling arrows whenever danger arises & watching the trek from a distance. So despite many an attack by outlaws or misguided Indians, the trek makes it to Santa Fe, where Stuart, meeting up with his old buddy Davy Crockett (Jack Perrin), is quick to find out that Dupray, who at their arrival is pretending to be on the Americans' side, is indeed behind all the obstacles they have encountered on their way.

Stuart, his associates & the Rider even succeed in driving Dupray & gang out of Santa Fe, but Dupray still has his secret hideout in the caves nearby, & when Stuart follows him there he has to realise it is riddled with traps.

Eventually though Stuart masters all of them, & with Jamison & the settlers from the trap he stornms the hideout, but Dupray still has an ace of 2 up his sleeve & succeeds in capturing Stuart & Bowie & ties them up so they can cover the escape of him & his men ... but he hasn't taken into account the Rider & her stallion, who in the end cut short the escape route & make it possible for the settlers to deal with Dupray & his gang.

 

Painted Stallion is on one hand a very fastmoving serial, with action & even fine miniature effects aplenty, on the other hand it's a bit too streamlined (even within the context of 1930's movie-serials) to remain wholly interesting: there's hardly a plottwist at all, the story is less driving to a climax than just from cliffhanger to cliffhanger & even the mysterious figure of the Rider of the Painted Stallion does little to add mystery or distraction to the plot (in fact her origin is given away after the showdown of the serial in just a sideline).

Plus, Hoot Gibson as the second lead is totally wasted in his role, as he has neither much to do in the action department, nor is any attempt made to add some of his comic talents (that were within the b-Western genre quite considerable) to the proceedings. Comedy is instead provided by the rather lame - & shortlived - comic-duo Oscar & Elmer.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD