Black Patch

Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure how appropriate it is to talk of boundaries in relation to movies, especially if we’re  going to acknowledge that they are a form of artistic expression. Nevertheless, when it comes to assessing a movie, to applying some critical thought to what’s presented there on the screen,  it’s difficult to get away from the concept of boundaries. Watching Black Patch (1957) had me wondering about where, or indeed how, one goes about fixing the boundary between a work which is merely interesting and one which can be seen as successful. Black Patch fell into that  grey area for me, not failing but not quite working as well as one might hope either.

Low budget movies have to employ a little more creativity, or trickery if you want to take the cynical view, to work around the limited resources. This can operate in a movie’s favor if it’s handled effectively. Here the opening uses a simple technique to hook the viewer, having a dramatic event occur off screen. This narrative, and financial, economy arouses one’s curiosity over what just happened, instigating an itch that needs to be scratched. The event is later revealed to be a robbery, or its aftermath anyway, carried out by Hank Danner (Leo Gordon). Danner’s journey will take him to a small western settlement, typical in its closed character. There we see one of those cinematic coincidences appear – the town marshal Clay Morgan (George Montgomery) is an old acquaintance of Danner’s, with the additional complication that he was also once in love with the current Mrs Danner (Diane Brewster). At this point I thought I knew exactly where the story was heading, but to give the writer (that man Leo Gordon again) his due it veers off in a very different direction. To some extent the two old friends are pitted against one another but a further violent incident and a rather shocking death in the middle of the movie alters everything. Perhaps I’m being annoyingly vague or oblique here but I’d prefer people who haven’t seen the movie to come to this fresh. What I will say, however, is that this represents the point where I feel the movie becomes problematic.

Now, when I say problematic I’m thinking of the script first and foremost. Gordon had set up a fascinating situation, a classic emotional triangle with a number of original touches to add freshness. However, for me anyway, the subsequent actions of the marshal and the young man (Tom Pittman) who plays an increasingly prominent role in the tale lack a certain logic. The marshal’s behavior regarding the stolen money feels entirely out of character and does not seem credible, neither in relation to what came before nor what follows. I can see how Gordon was casting around for a reason to bolster the growing hostility in town but it didn’t convince me at all. Then there’s the matter of the sudden transformation of Pittman’s callow youngster into  a dangerous gunslinger. Again, this is too abrupt and gave me the impression of a contrivance as opposed to a natural progression within the narrative framework. Others may well disagree but these shifts weakened the whole picture in my view.

So there’s there’s the boundary I spoke of at the beginning; a gear change in the writing that lacked smoothness and instead had that grinding and jarring effect that’s hard to ignore. That said, the movie is never less than interesting and I felt great satisfaction not only at the uplifting way the plot resolves itself but also at the filmmaker’s bold decision to show restraint and end it all at the natural climax rather than allow it to run on for no better reason than showing some frankly redundant gun play. I was impressed by how much value Allen H Miner was able to draw from limited resources when I viewed The Ride Back last year and his work here is every bit as stylish. It’s shot almost exclusively on the backlot and sets, and Edward Colman’s cinematography takes full advantage of that controlled environment to paint the kind of images that we tend to associate with film noir. What’s more, the movie has the distinction of featuring the debut score by Jerry Goldsmith.

This was the second George Montgomery western I’d watched in close proximity and I had a better time overall with this one – the other, for the curious out there, was Robbers’ Roost but that’s a story for a different day. What I’ve seen of Montgomery’s work so far tends to bring out his easy charm, his solidity in a leading role. But Black Patch is different; he’s not playing a man at ease in any sense of the word, the self-conscious way he massages his eye-patch when alone or stressed is indicative of a man  made suddenly aware of his own frailty, and his shifty behavior when confronted with evidence of his friend’s wrongdoing is very nicely realized too. For all that, it’s clear throughout that his inner core is strong, his essential integrity uncompromised – the image of him sitting alone in the living room of his home as the rocks and taunts come through the window is a powerful one. Mind you, that brings me back to that inconsistency in the writing I mentioned above and which does not jibe with what we see of the man elsewhere.

Of the others, Leo Gordon gives a typically muscular performance. Tom Pittman comes into the movie much more in the second half and is fine at conveying the confusion and turmoil of a youth who suddenly finds himself fulfilling a role he had dreamed of yet is not at all prepared for. Diane Brewster is good enough as the woman at the center of the conflict but the part actually offers less than one might imagine. The striking Lynn Cartwright (Mrs Leo Gordon in real life) has a juicy little role as the mistress of the principal villain and suffers some appalling treatment at his hands. That villain is portrayed with bombastic, bullying relish by a harpsichord-playing Sebastian Cabot. Some other familiar faces making appearances are House Peters Jr, Strother Martin and Ned Glass.

Black Patch has been released on DVD in the US via the Warner Archive and there’s also a German version available. I think it was out in the UK years ago, but that may have been presented in the incorrect aspect ratio. So, as I stated at the top of this piece, I’m not sure this movie works as well as it might. I’m not convinced by aspects of the script yet the performances, cinematography, and a fine conclusion all give it a boost. It might not be a great movie but it’s never less than interesting.

134 thoughts on “Black Patch

  1. Colin
    Have not seen this myself but it is on my must see list. Nice write-up as always, and I like how you point out the little details like Montgomery’s constant eye patch rubbing etc. Seen several Montgomery dusters like Dakota Lil, Gun Belt and Battle of Rogue River and found them all watchable. As for the director, Miner. I chanced upon an early film of his back in 2008 called GHOST TOWN that I quite liked. It was from 1956 if I recall right.
    Gord

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only other movie by the director I’ve seen is The Ride Back. He did a lot of television work and I may have seen some but I’m really not sure.
      Black Patch is certainly worth seeing if you get the opportunity, for the visuals and for a thoughtful performance by Montgomery.

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  2. Colin
    Forgot that I have also seen Miner’s THE RIDE BACK. Had a quick look on IMDB and I see I have a short write-up on Miner’s GHOST TOWN there I had forgotten about. Another of those low end directors that deserved more work.
    Gord

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  3. Seen this a very long time ago in a stand alone cinema and can not remember much except Montgomery with a black patch and Gordon impressed me as a villain. Best regards.

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    • I don’t think Leo Gordon is really the villain here, he’s not a hero by any means and it’s clear that he’s done wrong, but others in the cast are definitely more explicit villains.

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  4. I think broadway director George Abbott used go say that more shows failed due to a breach in style than for any other reason. I think you do an excellent job here of looking at what they were going for even if they didn’t always make it.

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    • Thanks, a these near misses can be fascinating to look at – not bad movies but just works that got something wrong in the mix or made a miscalculation in the scripting.

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  5. I recently watched Walter Hill’s TOMBOY (aka THE ASSIGNMENT) on Netflix, a fascinating neo noir that tries hard go be different. Basically a B movie with a good cast, it succeeds more than it fails but you just know that the suggestion of where it might have gone is more stimulating than where it ultimately ended up.

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  6. The title made me recall George Montgomery but not the movie. The review intrigued me. Sebastian Cabot and a harpsichord pulled another memory out of the mist. I may have seen it at one time, but now I have to “see” it. Thanks.

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  7. Interesting review Colin,perhaps with a bit more depth than the film actually deserves. Looking back,and it’s been ages since I’ve seen it, I do recall the film being somewhat “arty”, pretentious even. I also recall the film ending just as it was starting to get interesting.
    Be interested to hear your feedback on ROBBER’S ROOST, one of George’s 50’s best,I thought.
    Of Allen Miner’s other low budget Westerns I do prefer GHOST TOWN (1956) which Gordon has reviewed on imdb some time back. GHOST TOWN was shot by Joseph Biroc and for a $100.000 six day effort it’s not half bad. Interestingly ,GHOST TOWN features the iconic lone figure in a doorway
    shot and was actually released before THE SEARCHERS. GHOST TOWN was released several years back as an MGM/UA MOD DVD in a nice transfer but those things are hard to track down now and are pretty costly if you can find them.

    For UK Talking Pictures TV fans they have a real “find” next month. TPTV as part of their Paramount/Republic deal are showing CROSS CHANNEL (1955) the first of Wayne Morris’ Brit B flicks. Republic also imported R.G. Springsteen to helm this one and Yvonne Furneaux is a cut way above the usual Morris female lead.

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  8. I was able to see BLACK PATCH a couple of years ago. Probably our reaction was similar though I’ll say for me it went from very impressive to extremely disappointing. It’s that mid-film plot twist (nearer to the half hour mark as I recall) and I know you wanted to protect that here, so while I want to honor that too given that you have, it’s hard for me to discuss the film and why this bewildered me without giving it away.

    Suffice to say what John Knight found arty or pretentious I found to be very affecting, at least initially. The film is soaked in mood, stimulated by that triangle of Montgomery/Brewster/Gordon which is unusually interesting–these kinds of relationships work best when there is something sympathetic about each character and you can understand where they are all coming from. Despite Hank’s going to the other side of the law, I wouldn’t identify him as the villain as opposed to Cabot and Pittman characters–he is so well-motivated and it’s a sad situation for the two men and a woman who have all been so involved in each other’s lives for so long. Anyway, Miner strikes me as an interesting director and was inspired to some nice visual imagery along with the suffusion of emotion in some of these early scenes, helped by that first score of Goldsmith..

    I’ll just leave it to say I thought I’d discovered an unknown gem and it didn’t turn out that way. In the end, Miner’s THE RIDE BACK is the better movie and I’ve seen that several times. I’d certainly like to see GHOST TOWN.
    To John K., yes it was released a few months before THE SEARCHERS, but given the low budget, brief shooting schedule and likely faster release, don’t you think it’s likely someone had seen that shot in Ford’s film and so Miner was aware of it and might do that low rent copy of it. Really, Ford had always done things like this (note STRAIGHT SHOOTING, 1917 with Harry Carey, because that’s how far back he goes with this kind of imagery) and it just seems certain he created that final shot of THE SEARCHERS on the set while in Monument Valley in 1955, one of his most memorable and moving moments ever. Well, let’s agree one of the most by anyone.

    Not taking away from Miner–as I said, I’d like to see it sometime,.

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    • Blake, I don’t mind people discussing pivotal plot points in the comments section – it’s easy enough to warn people and/or edit in a stronger spoiler warning for readers where necessary. I try to avoid them in the main text as it can be trickier and may catch some readers unawares. But feel free to say whatever you want in the comments.

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  9. SPOILERS!

    SPOILERS!

    SPOILERS!

    OK, Colin, I’m taking you up on that with the above warning to folks who want to not know what happens before they see it.

    Very simply, what kind of dismayed me here is that as a writer Leo Gordon gave himself as an actor one of the better roles he ever had with Hank, only to
    kill off the character relatively early on. It’s hard to understand why he would do that. And even if he hadn’t been playing the part himself, the relationships between those three characters seem to be something you can build a good movie on, so the heart just kind of goes out of it after that even though there’s still an interesting protagonist, with the sadness and that touch of alienation he has, in Montgomery (who is indeed very good here). I was not engaged by those other characters who take over as antagonists and felt Miner lost some of the deeper feeling and plaintive mood that had registered, and I began to feel kind of remote from it before it was over.

    Some movies are interesting at least in part, and I don’t want to be dismissive of them because they miss in the end. This was plainly not meant to be run of the mill–of course, you could say that of say so many films in the genre through these years.

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    • All I can think, and it’s pure supposition on my part, is that Gordon wanted to try to subvert expectations, to deliberately sidestep a type of conflict that (perhaps) he felt was too familiar. If so, then that’s fair enough although, like yourself, I’m not sure that is necessary or desirable. Anyway, in doing so, and thus moving thee focus onto the others, the script is forced to perform the kind of gymnastics that kill a lot of its credibility.

      FURTHER SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      *
      *
      *
      *
      *
      *
      And I still cannot make head nor tail of why Montgomery decided to act in the way he did in relation to the loot. His taking it and hiding it away makes no sense to me. It can’t have been a desire to salvage some of Gordon’s reputation as that was gone regardless, nor does it add up if he was planning to pass it on to Brewster. That, or any notion of his keeping it for himself, is entirely out of character. It seems to me that Gordon the writer had painted himself into a corner and needed some device to lead into the conflicts he wanted to move center stage.

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      • Regarding the loot…….another thing that strikes me odd is that when he was hiding it in the furnace his first inclination was to immediately grab a log to ignite the furnace. He then had second thoughts and thus decided to put the log back in the wood pile. To burn or not to burn……when asking why……those are the two questions left answered.

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        • Woops, I got to retract Colin. After watching the movie again Montgomery was only using the small log to spread the ashes in the burner to make room for the loot. I think he may have been pondering whether or not to give the money to Brewster.

          I’m glad I watched the movie again……it flowed a lot better for me this time around.

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          • Yes, I noticed that. I have a feeling too the money was being stashed with a view to passing it on the Brewster, yet it doesn’t seem at all consistent with what we saw of the character up to that point. Maybe it’s not such a big deal but it does bug me.

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  10. One can also see that lone figure in a doorway shot of Harry Carey in ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1947) which was also filmed in Monument Valley. Who can ever forget the onscreen chemistry of Wayne, Gail Russell and Harry Carey. If not my favorite Wayne movie….well let’s just say it is.

    Actually I must say……..I’m very surprised that Colin hasn’t reviewed this one…….at least not yet.

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    • I’m surprised by it myself, Scott! I don’t even have an excuse that would be worth offering.
      Actually, It’s been a long time since any Wayne movie has appeared on this site.

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    • Hi, Scott – haven’t seen ANGEL for some time and didn’t recall it also had the doorway shot in it. I recall being stunned by Gail Russell’s fragile beauty when she first appears in the film and noting that she could act, too. I thought she was fine in SEVEN MEN FROM NOW, too but have read that Boetticher had to keep a tight rein on her to try to ensure her alcoholism didn’t prevent her from doing a good day’s work on the set. Hers is a very sad life story.

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            • Just watched the first few minutes on that link, Scott. It is a nice copy, thanks. Love the bit where Wayne and Russell end up on the floor together in the telegraph office: funny and tender at the same time.

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              • Yep, know what you mean. There are so many vignettes of ‘feel good tender moments’ between Wayne and Russell is what makes this movie so special. All the supporting characters have their moments, but what about the absorbing dialogue delivered by Harry Carey…….that guy could tell a story within a story like no other. That part must have been made for him.

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            • Well, Scott, thanks to your link, I have watched ANGEL AND THE BADMAN today again for the first time in a few years. I remember it as being a good movie but now would lift that rating to very, very good. It’s charming, has some lovely humour and some convincing action. The relationship between the Quaker girl, Penny and the bad man, Quirt is beautifully played by both Gail Russell and John Wayne. The script is intelligent and features many memorable lines. I love how the Quakers’ beliefs are treated with respect and woven into the story so artfully. All the supporting cast do well but Harry Carey’s playing is priceless. The film is a gem.

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  11. There will be SPOILERS in this post. If you want to be surprised, don’t read on.

    I saw Black Patch not too long ago and while I find every Montgomery Western perfectly watchable, I agree with Colin and Blake that the movie fell short of its very interesting premise. Which had solely to do with THAT death half an hour into the movie. Hank was a good bad-guy and I hoped that he would find redemption in the end. This was one of Gordon’s most interesting roles and I can’t believe he wrote himself out of the action so quickly. Indeed, why would he do that?

    The movie then took a very different turn – which isn’t always a bad idea – but I just wanted more Leo Gordon.

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    • He must have felt that the story arc of Pittman’s character was of more interest because that’s really what he draws attention to from then on. I can kind of see the point of that, although in retrospect that strand is is more dated and lacks the timelessness of the triangle he discarded. Aside from that, it has that manufactured quality to the way it’s built up. However, I still feel the decision to end the movie in the abrupt fashion he does has merit and shows conviction.

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  12. I actually saw “BLACK PATCH” for the first time on release in the UK (1957 or 8) on the big screen and it was many years before I got to see it again. Fairly obviously low-budget and produced by Montgomery, it is undistinguished but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Like John, I will be interested in your thoughts on “ROBBERS’ ROOST”, Colin, which I think is a better film.

    Picking up on John’s comment earlier about “CROSS CHANNEL” (my recorder will be set!) coming on TV shortly, I note they also are airing a Republic, “FIGHTING COAST GUARD” directed by Joe Kane and Brian Donlevy and Forrest Tucker starring. Never seen either film.

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        • Yes indeed, Jerry. It would be an odd state of affairs if we were all in full agreement at all times. Nevertheless, I want to give it another go as I wasn’t in perhaps the most receptive of moods when I watched it.

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          • Yes Colin, as with John and Jerry, I too, if you recall, had been prodding you a bit about ROBBERS’ ROOST. Montgomery is very good, but in my view, it’s the movie’s high production values that sets it above all the rest. As with all the other guys, I’ll be looking forward to your assessments.

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  13. Jerry
    Seen “FIGHTING COAST GUARD” back in 2014 and found it a very watchable war film. Review up at the usual place. This one features plenty of recognizable faces. We have, Brian Donlevy, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel, Steve Brodie, Ella Raines, John Russell and a look quick or miss them, Hugh O’Brian and Martin Milner. Worth a look in my humble opinion. Added bonus is it was shot by Reggie Lanning who was the cinematographer on WAKE OF THE RED WITCH, HOODLUM EMPIRE and SANDS OF IWO JIMA.

    I must admit “CROSS CHANNEL”, that you and John mention is something I have never seen. It is on my must find list.
    Gord

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  14. Between about 1954-56 Wayne Morris made five films in Britain plus a TV series. I have four of those five but “CROSS CHANNEL” has for some reason been most elusive, Gord. Not even appeared on UK TV to the best of my knowledge until now.
    I take your comments on “FIGHTING COAST GUARD” as every good reason for me to catch it!

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  15. Jerry
    I liked FIGHTING COAST GUARD but I freely admit to being an easy marker with war films. Let me know what you think. As for the films, Morris made. during his time in the UK, I have seen THE CROOKED SKY and THE GELIGNITE GANG.. I found the second to be a good UK programmer with a nice twist here and there story wise.
    Cheers, Gord

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    • Gord,
      Talking of war films, today I watched a 1952 Universal-International Budd Boetticher film, “RED BALL EXPRESS” with Jeff Chandler. It tells the story of the huge necessity to transport supplies to Patton’s fast-advancing forces heading for Paris after D-Day. Interesting story and well-told.
      Jerry

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      • I have Red Ball Express earmarked for a future piece, Jerry. But a bit later as we’ve had a lot of Jeff Chandler movies featured lately; not that this is a bad thing by any means but I do like to keep the mix varied.

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  16. I hope Talking Pictures TV unearth some of the other Brit B Flicks featuring faded Hollywood stars-Kent Taylor did two for Republic’s B Picture Unit both directed by R.G.Springsteen namely TRACK THE MAN DOWN and SECRET VENTURE,the former is out on a Olive Films Blu Ray,no less and the latter is very hard to locate, impossible, I would say in watchable quality. These are the sort of things TPTV love so stay tuned..

    Not Republic,but I’d love to see decent quality versions of the two Brit B’s Richard Arlen made namely DEVIL’S HARBOR and STOLEN TIME (Blonde Blackmailer) The former has an intriguing Docklands setting and is not bad for what it is. The latter I must have seen as in the UK it was the support feature to MAN WITH THE GUN or more to the point The Trouble Shooter as it was called in the UK. STOLEN TIME co stars the tragic Susan Shaw her career already hitting the skids after such a promising start.

    Talking of rare Brit Thrillers UK TV station London Live are later this week screening TAKE MY LIFE (1947) Yet another save innocent man from the gallows plot and the first stint as director for Ronald Neame,plus the film was shot by Guy Green. Never even heard of this one so it’s a real find by London Live.

    Colin, my high regard for ROBBERS’ ROOST is due to the high quality of the Kino Blu Ray which is a huge advancement over the DVD. I felt the direction was somewhat clumsy towards the end of the picture but the beautiful locations and stellar cast more than save the day. I had the MGM/UA DVD which was ragged,to say the least-the leap to high def gives the film an added boost.

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    • I noticed that TPTV posted a video on Facebook of a feature the BBC News ran on them, and a really lovely feature it was too.

      Robbers’ Roost – I watched a DVD version as I’m unable to view US/Region A Blu-rays. The quality was so so and didn’t look especially great during the day for night sequences, and there are a lot of those!

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      • Colin,
        Talking about day for night,for me that element totally ruined THEY CAME TO CORDURA for me,I’ve only recently seen the film. The daytime stuff from Burnett Guffey is sensational but overall the film is a very long slog,plus the film totally wastes Van Heflin and Richard Conte. I was not expecting much as the film’s reputation is very low indeed, but I’m glad I’ve seen it at least.
        Would be very interested to hear from anyone who has anything positive to say about the film,perhaps someone less facile than myself (Colin,Blake) will have interesting points regarding the films constant theme of “Redemption” which sadly more or less passed me by. A handsome looking film but a very weary trek down the trail.

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          • Gosh! I thought I was the only person, or at least RTHC follower that had never seen the film. I must admit I went in with low expectations and the film more or less lived down to them ‘though having said that the early stages of the film are very good indeed…
            I’m sure the film must have admirers somewhere. At any rate I’d love to hear your opinion of the film when it finally rises to the top of your “Rainy Day Movies” stack.

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        • Yes, it has that theme–and related others (what is courage?…those kinds of things) but they play very heavily and self-consciously in this case. It sounds like it could be more than it is, doesn’t it?. I thought that the very early sequences that show the valorous actions of the designated “heroes” were a pretty good start and then it descended.

          So, I’m not a fan and I’m disinclined to go back to it again after several tries (the first one was theatrically when it came out and I remember being disappointed then). Director Robert Rossen is someone sympathy for (won’t go into that too much right now) and should have connected to what this is all about more than it seems like he does. I do like other of his films very much–“The Hustler” has held on for me over the years and then there’s the haunting “Lilith” which turned out to be last. “All the King’s Men” is very well-directed too and impressed me on every level the last time I saw it. I have a weakness for “Island in the Sun” which is not well-regarded I guess–I’d like to say it’s for the wonderful title song, but maybe too I just really like late 50s melodramas.

          The cast of “They Came to Cordura” have all seen better movies, and most conspicuously, in this group of last Westerns, Gary Cooper is so impressive in the other two “The Hanging Tree” and (sorry, John K.) “Man of the West”–light years better films that are just as serious but watching them is never for a moment any kind of a slog.

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          • Blake,
            Despite my “issues” with
            MAN OF THE WEST I have no problems
            giving it another viewing,furthermore how could I
            possibly totally dislike a film that features
            John Dehner,Robert Wilke and Royal Dano.
            I also have no problems giving THE LAST FRONTIER
            another go another film that divides opinion,but for all
            it’s weaker points it’s still a film I very much admire.
            I will give THEY CAME TO CORDURA another go,
            and would love to get Colin’s take on the film.

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            • None of the movies you mention here have been featured at this place. Not yet anyway. It’s at times like this I remember how I’ve only begin to scratch the surface of cinema on this blog.

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              • We’re all scratching the surface really,
                Colin,especially with the flow of undiscovered
                gems now being released by boutique labels.
                If I listed some of the “all time classics”
                I’ve never yet seen I would probably be forever
                barred from RTHC.
                The internet,these wonderful blogs mainly
                maintained by dedicated fans are constantly
                bringing unheralded often lost movies to
                a whole new audience.

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                • It would be much worse and far less interesting if we had nothing new ahead of us. I’d like to think these blogs and all who contribute to them are not only keeping interest alive but also drawing in a few new fans.

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            • John K,

              Despite being a huge admirer of Anthony Mann, I had trouble with “Man of the West” the first time I viewed it. Frankly, I thought it was mondo bizarro. However, upon watching it a second time I completely changed my opinion of it. It is a bit strange (intentionally, I think), but Mann’s brilliance shines through. I think the “Last Frontier” is the weakest of Mann’s Westerns though that’s not to say it’s a bad film. It’s just that all of the others, in my opinion, are better.

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      • Re ROBBERS’ ROOST……..Colin, I completely agree with John K about the overall desirability of the movie when not viewed in HD. There is a lot of good things to be said about this movie……especially the Cinematography. Consequently, when not seen in HD it takes it down a full notch. Colin, if you’re determined to see the movie in it’s finest form of HD you can still view it online free without download on ok.ru, but you will have to tolerate the foreign language dubbing. At least in this case, the dubbing does not interfere with the spoken English. You can view it here……
        https://ok.ru/video/99090762449

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  17. Thanks for the tip about London Live, John – Never heard about it before. “TAKE MY LIFE” is a film I return to every so often as it appeals to me a good deal. Hope you enjoy it.

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  18. Jerry,
    London Live (Channel 8 on Freeview) normally show a couple of vintage Brit Flicks every early aftenoon – lots of them recycled from TPTV but they do come up with the occasional gem. The station only seems to be available in the Greater London region. Their prints are generally very good.

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  19. John, I too find They Came To Cordura ‘a very long slog’ and ‘a very weary trek’. I was enticed to watch it mainly by the cast even though I was warned offhand to avoid. Definately not a time filler. Best regards.

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  20. Guys
    I took 3 nights to get through They Came To Cordura. Half an hour one night and so on. As Chris says, “a very long slog”. John, I wish had access to your tv channels. They sound great. Jerry, RED BALL EXPRESS is a nicely put together war film that I liked enough to put up a write-up at IMDB.
    Gord

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  21. All
    Did anyone else take in the first episode of the new PERRY MASON series? I have never read any of the novels or seen any of the early Perry Mason films. So my knowledge of the story is all based on the Ray Burr television series. The episode I watched last night was quite good with some nice twists and nasty violence. Matthew Rhys plays the title role and is quite good at it. It plays out like a private detective story so far. I’m hooked! Any other opinions?

    Gord

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    • I have not seen the reboot and will probably pass, but the series with Raymond Burr, Barbara and the two Bills, was a marvel of chemistry. The stories were variable, but of less consequence than these people and their obvious love for each other. They were good company; like friends, and that, of course, is what makes a success.

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  22. Hi, Gord and others – I largely enjoyed the new Perry Mason. It recreated 30s LA convincingly and drew me strongly into the plot. The creation of PM as a bottom feeder of his profession and his fractured personal life was so well done. Matthew Rhys was superb in delivering on this characterisation. My only reservation is about the gruesome violence. SPOILER ALERT The close ups of the baby’s face, the torture of PM, the sex scenes, the foot on the neck all seem to be trying too hard to shock. Hope this tones down in future episodes.

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  23. We watched the 1st episode of PM last night and will probably continue with it. Like Steve, I thought the ‘feel’ of 30s LA was very good and particularly the scenes on Angels Flight. The ‘BUT’ for me was that it was difficult to give a damn about one single character in it (so far anyway). I found it difficult to see how this rather foul-mouthed lowlife was going to later turn into the controlled and urbane PM we saw depicted by Warren William on film or Raymond Burr on TV.
    I wait to see.

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  24. Jerry,it’s hard to get the Raymond Burr image out of my mind.mmakes me wonder why this had to be called “PM”. It would work better for many if it was about an entirely different character. By the way, I didn’t know there was a movie so I’ll track down the one you mention starring Warren William. Cheers Steve

    Like

  25. All
    Anything with Angels Flight is worth a look in my book. Such an iconic part of the city.

    I’m not sure at all about the history of the character from the books or early films. Does he start out as a detective and then becomes a lawyer?
    Or does this series have little to do with the Gardner books. LOL
    We need someone who has the info to set us straight. Well, me anyways! LOL
    Gord

    Like

    • I haven’t seen this but what I’ve read suggests it has only a very tenuous link to Gardner. The character names are there but the rest seems unrelated. The literary Perry Mason was a lawyer from the beginning and Gardner never bothered about filling in background details – you don’t know a great deal more about him after 30 years worth of books than you do after the first one. Gardner was into writing plots first and foremost, and he was extraordinarily good at that.

      Like

  26. Putting my ambivalence to the new PM aside, I am able to be much more positive about “MAKE HASTE TO LIVE”, which I watched today. Made in 1954 in 1.65:1 ratio by Republic, it was directed by William Seiter and starred Dorothy McGuire, Stephen McNally, Mary Murphy, Ron Hagerthy, Edgar Buchanan plus a small role for Eddy Waller, a character actor whose work I always enjoy.
    The film boasts a polish one might have expected more from one of the major studios. McNally really convinced as a nasty piece of work and McGuire and Murphy very good together. Republic showed how they could have competed in the market, for longer anyway, and I really enjoyed the film.
    I promised comment on this one, Colin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. The early books, from the 30s, had a far more pulpy feel to them, with Mason behaving in some respects as much like a PI as a lawyer, and there’s a tougher edge overall. What I’ve heard of the new series is that there is a lot of back story – none of that comes from Gardner.

      Like

  27. And this weekend I will be watching the following films.

    BRUTE FORCE 1947 After NIGHT IN THE CITY last weekend I think I’ll take in another Jules Dassin film.
    THE AVENGING RIDER 1943 This is a Tim Holt programmer I have never seen.
    DESERT PASSAGE 1952 Another Tim Holt duster with Clayton Moore and John Dehner in the cast.
    THE GOOD LIAR 2019 Heard good things about this one with Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. Some sort of con game film.
    Gordon

    Like

    • You won’t go far wrong with Dassin.
      I’ve not made up my mind yet. Probably something with an eye to a write-up, but that’s not sure either. I need to sleep on it. 😉

      Like

  28. How many of your choices have you watched so far, Gord? “BRUTE FORCE” is real classic of course. Personally, I don’t think you can go far wrong with one of Tim Holt’s RKO westerns, particularly post-WW2, although I would suggest “WILD HORSE MESA” or “BROTHERS IN THE SADDLE” to taste the best of them.
    So far, I have watched a solid Republic western from 1957, “DUEL AT APACHE WELLS”, produced & directed by Joe Kane (safe pair of hands) and starring Ben Cooper and Jim Davis. Any western that features good roles for Jim Davis and Bob Steele reels me in.
    I am hoping (maybe in a day or two) to give a first-ever viewing to “SWORD IN THE DESERT” (1949). Although this film was made by Universal-International with a starring cast of Dana Andrews, Stephen McNally & Jeff Chandler, it has become a real rarity, almost certainly because of its provocative political backdrop in Palestine. The film has certainly (as far as I am aware) never been shown on UK TV. I wonder if it found its way into UK cinemas in 1949?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Jerry,
    THE SWORD IN THE DESERT was banned in the UK in 1949, the powers that be were most unhappy with the way British troops were depicted. It’s hard to nowadays see what all the fuss was about,the troops were lampooned as opposed to vilified. THE SWORD IN THE DESERT was shown possibly 25 years back in a “banned” season at London’s National Film Theatre. According to the programme notes, at the time, a left wing cinema in London’s Regent Street tried to show the film.this resulted in riots and even bomb threats by the far right.
    Firstly, I’m amazed that London had it’s own left wing cinema back in 1949 and it’s rather ironic,back in those days the UK’s left were supporting Israel, how times change. The film is a strong political thriller with an exceptional cast. Only silly bit a couple of “Blimpish” and somewhat elderly UK troops
    are seen padding across a beach-they look like rejects from a WW1 B picture or more to the point “Teletubbies”

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, and Jerry didn’t even mention Marta Toren, who we were talking about recently. This is one of her better roles. Jeff Chandler’s role as an Israeli leader is so strongly played that it elevated him and probably had a role in his being cast as Cochise in BROKEN ARROW soon after that.

        Also, let’s not forget–directed by George Sherman, who characteristically does some very beautiful work, especially the Christmas Eve sequence. Arguably, this is one of his best films, surpassed just by a handful of his Westerns and about equal to something as good as THE SLEEPING CITY.

        I see now Gordon had noted Sherman as director… but will leave my comment as is and just remind that if he’s good at midde-budget action, his work is so many things along with that. He’s eloquent in tracing spiritual journeys in a number of movies, and that happens with Dana Andrews here–initially self-interested, he becomes a better human being by the end,

        It’s sad when any movie is not shown because of some political reason, and only because of the time it was made. In this case, SWORD IN THE DESERT was way ahead on this subject and I don’t think anyone banned EXODUS a decade later–the two films have plenty in common and Preminger’s more expansive, high profile and very impressive film is not all that much better.

        Liked by 2 people

        • And all of that has me keener still to see the movie.

          I don’t need much convincing on Sherman’s strengths and the fact you rate this highly in his body of work adds to the appeal.
          You’ve also reminded me that I need to get around to The Sleeping City, which came up in conversation earlier this year.

          Like

  30. Backtracking somewhat I finally caught up with TAKE MY LIFE (1947). As a race against time, saving someone from the gallows type of picture it’s fun comparing it with Losey’s TIME WITHOUT PITY (1957). TAKE MY LIFE is more concerned with the mores and morals of England’s upper middle class-stiff upper lips are constant throughout. Losey’s film is far more overwrought, frenetic even.
    TAKE MY LIFE’s Greta Gynt is a real ice maiden so composed, so calm. Michael Redgrave in TIME WITHOUT PITY however is a shambling alcoholic and none too likeable at that. Of the two films I do prefer the Losey there are more diversions, from the pubs the “caffs” backstage at the Windmill to a striking, not to mention symbolic moment on the London Underdround. Symbolism is rampant throughout Losey’s film as is the constant use of clocks. The performances too are overwrought especially Leo McKern and Alec McCowen. It seems American directors often fail getting certain English actors to slice the ham less thick.
    Having said all that Peter Cushing is restrained and the film was a stepping point from esteemed supporting actor to Horror superstar. As I mentioned before, I do prefer the Losey film but I feel the climax of Ronald Neame’s film is far superior. The ending of TAKE MY LIFE takes reference points from Hitchcock and has a neat twist that we just don’t see coming. Both films would make a spiffing double bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. All
    Jerry, as for the Tim Holt dusters, they did what they were made to do, be effective timewasters. I still need to see more of them.“WILD HORSE MESA” and “BROTHERS IN THE SADDLE” are on my to see list as is “DUEL AT APACHE WELLS” the Joe Kane film you mention.

    Have a write up on IMDB on SWORD IN THE DESERT that I did in 2014. I had no problem at all with the film. Action, prison escapes with a light dusting of politics. The director, George Sherman, was a whizz at these middle budget action productions. Worth a look in my humble opinion.

    Gord

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gord and ALL…….regarding Tim Holt dusters. Have you seen RENEGADE RANGER (1938)? This one is a lot more than an effective time waster to be sure. George O’Brien as a Texas Ranger has the lead role co-starring a young Tim Holt (ex-Ranger) and a young 20-year old Rita Hayworth (known as Rita Cansino the year before). The stunning Hayworth exhibits a striking onscreen presence that you know is destined for stardom. The Mexican/Spanish costumes worn by Hayworth add to her flare…..not to mention her horsemanship riding skills. It makes for a very good ‘B’ effort.

      Like

      • Yes, Scott, I have (and have seen more than once) “THE RENEGADE RANGER”, as both a George O’Brien fan and a Tim Holt fan. The series of westerns O’Brien made 1937-40 for RKO stand out as some of the best series westerns made.

        Like

  32. Good to see so many of these lesser known Universal Noirs debuting on Blu Ray. While the Siodmak and Dassin entries, quite rightly gain more of the attention there are some superb lesser known movies.
    I’ve never seen KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS and it’s reputation varies but Gary at DVD Beaver has given it a knockout review and if that’s not enough he’s included a piece from Mark at Where Danger Lives who also rates the film very highly. The screen grabs Gary has provided look stunning. As far as I know, although London set,the film was entirely filmed in Hollywood. Wonderful to see so many of these lesser known Noirs getting a well deserved high def restoration.
    Another Universal Noir I caught recently was THE LADY GAMBLES (1949) more a melodrama really but meaty subject matter;gambling addiction. Another great Stephen McNally performance, I might add. There’s plenty more out there from the Universal vaults many of which have not even had a DVD release.

    Like

  33. All

    Today I took in BRUTE FORCE 1947. Dassin hits all the marks again and gets top performance out of the entire cast.
    THE GOOD LIAR 2019 Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. It takes a bit before it picks up speed, but what starts out as a con artist film turns into a nicely done revenge piece. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked it.
    Tonight is episode 2 of the new PERRY MASON series. I’ll enjoyed the first one so I’ll give this one a look see as well.

    Gord

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Scott
    Thanks to your recommend I took in CARBINE WILLIAMS this afternoon. Well done film all around with
    Wendell Corey and Jimmy Stewart both doing fine work. Strange that I had never seen this one before.

    Gord

    Like

    • Gord…….most of my early movie watching days were in the 60’s and 70’s on television. In the TV Guide movie listings I was forever seeing promos for WINCHESTER 73, SPRINGFIELD RIFLE and this one, CARBINE WILLIAMS. Because the titles of these three movies identified as rifles they always kind of stuck with me. Glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  35. Oddly enough, “CARBINE WILLIAMS” is another one that seems rarer than hen’s teeth. I saw it just once years ago. Must seek it out.
    Thanks for coming in on this, Blake. How could I have failed to mention the fact that one of my favourite directors was at the helm of “SWORD IN THE DESERT”. I could have sworn I had seen a short piece on the film as an upcoming release in my copy of 1949 Film Review annual compiled by F. Maurice Speed but have so far failed to find it again. I seem to recall a still with Marta Toren and McNally or Andrews.
    Thanks to John for confirming my belief that the film had been banned in the UK.
    All the back-and-forth on it just makes me look forward to seeing it all the more.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. And talking of George Sherman, I just treated myself (and I do mean treated) to another Sherman film from the same year 1949, “RED CANYON”. Never seen this one before either though I’d be surprised if Blake isn’t familiar with it. The film looks beautiful, thanks to the lensing of Maurice Geraghty, with a fine cast that includes John McIntire, Edgar Buchanan (priceless), Lloyd Bridges and Denver Pyle.
    Dismissed by Leonard Maltin as ‘routine’, a term used by critics that usually makes my eyes light up. Some of my favourite movies are described by critics as routine.

    I found that reference to “SWORD IN THE DESERT” I was seeking – it was in the 1950 Speed Film Review and described what happened to its release in the UK just as John described.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerry, you have a knack recently of hitting on movies that are floating around on my radar. Red Canyon is one of those and your comments here have just bumped it up a few places.

      Like

    • Jerry, Colin
      “RED CANYON” is a new one for me. Thanks for the heads up. One of the best things about this site is the new titles one gets to hear about. I love it.
      Gord

      Like

    • Yeah, Jerry, if I had a nickel for every time someone described a movie I love or admire as “routine” I could call myself comfortably retired!

      RED CANYON is indeed a beauty with that wonderful Technicolor photography and a strong, well dramatized story too. John McIntire was just getting established then–as we all know he could play from likable to villainous and a whole range in between and this shows it very well as the various elements of the movie are woven together. I especially enjoy the expansive search for the wild horse by Howard Duff and Edgar Buchanan at the center of the film (well, hope I’m remembering this right–it has been awhile now).

      Just a few notes about this. When we think of Universal-International, the male stars likely to come to mind are Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, Jeff Chandler and Audie Murphy–and Julie Adams and Piper Laurie for the women. But that’s the 50s–in those first few years after the merger in the late 40s, for dramatic movies it was Howard Duff, Ann Blyth (both in RED CANYON), Yvonne De Carlo and Dan Duryea. Of course all four did go on to some more movies there in the 50s too, especially Duryea though for him it’s more as a kind of “most valuable player” among supporting actors (WINCHESTER ’73, RIDE CLEAR OF DIABLO, et al.).

      As the U-I years began, Leonard Goldstein quickly became the studio’s most prolific producer and the first director he brought in was George Sherman who did the first Technicolor movie of the new regime (BLACK BART) and most of the others in color in the 40s, and so he also started U-I’s wonderful run of Westerns, that so many of us now see as a treasure trove–plainly he was very valued to be given these pictures. I believe these contract years were good for him because he was usually well-assigned on projects that played to his strengths, the Westerns especially but most of his other movies too.

      I’ve seen all of Sherman’s movies from 1948 through 1958 (some not in ideal presentations in the ones I’ve caught up with on TV), but remain patchy on those before and after those years. I’ve seen half of the later ones and would love to see the others, difficult in some cases. And I do hope to see more of those early Republic ones than I have, not caring that they are modest and probably considered “routine,”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Would it be fair to say that “routine” is sometimes used (or misused) when critics find themselves disappointed at the lack of, let’s say, fireworks and focus on what they perceive as the familiarity of a theme as opposed to the way that theme is handled? I’ve just been typing something up on an entirely unrelated movie today and that idea has been playing around in my head as I’ve been doing so.

        Like

        • Quote Colin………….
          “Would it be fair to say that “routine” is sometimes used (or misused) when critics find themselves disappointed at the lack of, let’s say, fireworks and focus on what they perceive as the familiarity of a theme as opposed to the way that theme is handled?”

          Colin……with RED CANYON your above statement is a perfect example of what, in fact, is not by any means ‘routine’. This film far exceeded my expectations for all the reasons that have already been stated. Thanks to Jerry for bringing this film to the forefront……..I really enjoyed it.

          As a side note – Did anyone catch Johnny Carpenter in an unaccredited bit speaking part?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Regarding Red Canyon — as you all know, it was based on Zane Grey’s Wildfire, which I have here. In the broadest possible way, the film reflects the novel, but the dominant figure is Bostel, George Brent’s part, and the tone, in fact, the events generally, are far more dramatic and violent. I thought the film a lightweight disappointment and disliked the narration, but the novel, rich and meaningful.

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      • To Blake and Colin (or anyone else in the know.) Do some of these so-called film critics get paid off by producers to say something positive about a particular film? If so, what are some of the monetary dynamics? I’ve always wondered about that possibility.

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  37. Further to Blake’s most interesting thoughts on early Universal-International films, I would add actors Scott Brady, Peggy Dow and John Russell, who all appeared in some really interesting U.I. films around the turn of the decade. Sadly, some of these seem impossible to find (“UNDER THE GUN”, “I WAS A SHOPLIFTER”). I also would love to get hold of “SHAKEDOWN” (Howard Duff).
    I do at least have “THE STORY OF MOLLY X” with John Russell on it’s way to me right now.
    These U.I. films really need to be out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Colin, I found your write-up of BLACK PATCH(1957) to be very fair, well balanced, and thought provoking. The concept of that, “grey area between not failing, but not quite working as well as one might hope,” can well describe numerous movies, TV shows, literature, other works of art, and the human condition in general. Too me, that is why it is so intriguing. There are a lot of “what if’s” out there and many seem to fall into this “grey area” concept.

    BLACK PATCH is an offbeat Western, to say the least, and that is one reason that I like it and always have, ever since I first saw it back in the 1960’s on ABC affiliate Channel 8-TV, Jonesboro, Arkansas. It was shown quite a lot during the late ’60’s and early 1970’s, but it was decades before I saw it again. I can see where it is problematic for many viewers, especially after the first 45 minutes and Carl a.k.a. Flytrap(Tom Pittman) is a bit annoying and over the top at times, with his dramatic change from boy to tough-talking wannabe gunfighter is a bit of a stretch. Why did writer Leo Gordon change gears? I don’t really know, but it was his first script. When Gordon was acting in “Hack Prine” the pilot episode of GUNSMOKE the TV show, he told producer/director Charles Marquis Warren that he had an idea for an episode. Warren told him, “Don’t tell me, write it.” We see the result of Warren’s advice in Gordon’s movie script.

    George Montgomery now had formed his own production company and was looking for a good script to produce and star in. So, producer Montgomery liked the script and actor Montgomery saw a good lead part for himself. Did he mind having a gear shift in the script? Again, I don’t know, but he was the boss. At about this time he was starring in a tough edged juvenile delinquent movie titled STREET OF SINNERS(filmed 1956, released 1957), in which he portrayed an honest hard-nosed by the book street beat cop in the Bronx. I first saw this movie recently and this role wasn’t the usual one for Montgomery and it was timely and gritty. It is available on AMAZON PRIME Streaming and I recommend this movie, because it is worth watching. It was fun to watch Montgomery walking the beat in his uniform, caring a billy club, and using it. So, in BLACK PATCH there is Flytrap a budding circa 1870 juvenile delinquent with a pistol. If my memory serves me right, I remember reading about another juvenile delinquent movie, STAKEOUT ON DOPE STREET(filmed 1957, released 1958) being double-billed with BLACK PATCH during a later run.

    Writer Gordon, being a supporting actor and mostly the heavy in his career, wrote a good role for himself and I think he may have wanted to flesh out the other supporting characters roles and give them their due, Frenchy De’vere(Sebastian Cabot) made the slime in slimeball even slimier than ever. Frenchy’s right-hand confederate Holman(House Peters, Jr) and saloon girl Kitty(Lynn Cartwright, Leo Gordon’s wife) and others receive some good lines. What we have here is a writer, a producer-star, and director(Allen H. Miner) that seem confident enough to concentrate on the supporting characters instead of the lead all the time. Although, I realize that by doing this and adding other bits and pieces can stretch the structure of an 82 minute movie.

    About being arty, well I didn’t mind that at all, and to each his own in this regard. I think the playing of the out-of-tune player-piano was kind of neat and director Allen Miner had used it before in GHOST TOWN(filmed 1955, released 1956), which is another movie worth watching and is currently streaming on AMAZON PRIME. The husband(Gordon) and wife(Diane Brewster, a favorite of mine since her MAVERICK and CHEYENNE TV show days) bed scene(yes,1957 style with clothes on and probably having the spouses have one foot on the floor) with the bed headboard making it look they were in prison is a neat shot by director of photography Edward Colman.

    I think, all in all, that BLACK PATCH is actually pretty good and well worth watching with its impressive starkness in black and white photography, strong performances(George Montgomery’s and Leo Gordon’s best performances, I think), and going outside the box regarding genre expectations.

    I do hope the readers of RIDING THE HIGH COUNTRY give BLACK PATCH a look see and as Jerry Entract has said, “At the end of the day it’s all opinion.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, it’s great to hear from you again, Walter.

      That’s a spirited and well-articulated defense of the movie. I hope people who haven’t seen it give it a chance too if the opportunity to view it comes their way. There are few movies where I’d actively encourage anyone to avoid.

      Like

  39. Round up time in the High Country……………
    Gosh! I’ve only been away for a day and a whole heap of my favourite movies and people has blended into the mix. Speaking of favourite people, Walter, it’s wonderful to have you back!

    Oddly enough I only watched THE SLEEPING CITY last night. This viewing I paid special attention to the scene often cited by Blake,the rooftop encounter between Richard Conte and Coleen Gray. As Blake has so often mentioned before it’s a wonderful scene that almost reaches a metaphysical level. This spiritual scene is in total contrast with the stark ending of the picture. Walter also mentions STREET OF SINNERS which had an X certificate (over 16’s only) in the UK. STREET OF SINNERS was directed by William Berke who Harry Cohn considered the best B Movie director in the business. Berke seemed to end his career with a series of tough,urban adult thrillers.

    Jerry, I’m most intrigued to know where you have sourced THE STORY OF MOLLY X thus far I’ve only come across ropey off air copies of this very fine movie.
    I did a piece on THE STORY OF MOLLY X some time ago over at Rupert Pupkin Speaks and I’m pretty sure both Jerry and Colin commented on my write up. THE STORY OF MOLLY X is a very “female centric” prison flick and June Havoc in the lead is sensational. The Femme Fatale this time ’round is the always wonderful
    Dorothy Hart, Dorothy was also the “good girl” in OUTSIDE THE WALL also directed by Crane Wilbur. After a short acting career Dorothy devoted her life to humanitarian causes including the Red Cross and United Nations. “MOLLY X” OUTSIDE THE WALL,SWORD IN THE DESERT and William Castle’s striking UNDERTOW were all shot by Irving Glassberg the unsung hero of Universal International pictures. Glassberg’s city location work in OUTSIDE THE WALL and UNDERTOW is outstanding.
    Irving Glassberg also was pivotal in persuading a young hopeful called Clint Eastwood to try his luck in Hollywood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, John, the proof of the pudding, etc LOL . I sourced “THE STORY OF MOLLY X” from a seller in the U.S. via Ebay. So, of course the price doubled once postage was added. Just hope it turns out to be a nice transfer. Case of finding these U.I. movies wherever you can.

      Like

  40. Colin and John K, it is good to be back and thank you for the kind words. My wife and I came home from St. Louis, Missouri last Friday evening. She is in remission from her B-Cell PLL Leukemia and now is in day 81 since her stem cell transplant. The first 100 days are crucial and so far she is doing well with no cancer in her blood. We live and take everything day by day. This has been a real trying time for us, especially during this COVID-19 scare. We have been right in the middle of it, by being in St. Louis with our going back and forth to the Washington University Advanced Medicine Siteman Cancer Center. On top of everything else we were there during the so-called peaceful demonstrations, which turned into rioting, looting, burning and the shooting of policemen. We managed to stay away from all that, by staying inside the house, where we were staying at in Historic Dogtown. If we had still been at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, where we stayed from December 6-March 22, we would have had more of a front row seat to the riots. The Hope Lodge had been closed down by the American Cancer Society, because of the COVID-19 scare. Needless to say, we are so happy to be home.

    I have some catching up to do on my reading and commenting. I do enjoy Colin’s write-ups and the comments from everyone. I give this site a thumbs up!

    Liked by 2 people

  41. I second those wishes, Walter. You and your wife have had a very rough time of it these past months and I want to think you are on the path to better things again.
    By gum, we’ve missed your thoughtful and insightful comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. People
    Anyone know anything about the 1960 Jack Cardiff directed HOLIDAY IN SPAIN aka SCENT OF MYSTERY? It stars Denholm Elliott, Peter Lorre, Beverly Bentley, Leo McKern, Peter Arne and Diana Dors. Never heard of it myself, which considering that Lorre is in it, is strange. Any of you good folks seen it?
    Gord

    Like

    • I have it right here on blu ray. It may be the single worst picture, on a dollar for dollar basis, ever produced. Incoherent, but beautifully photographed and uninterestingly played. I have it as a souvenir of Spain. I cannot recommend it as entertainment, but the commentary track and other interviews are more than worthwhile for any buff. Audio commentary lead by Bruce Kimmel, an interview with Beverley Bentley and Susan Todd, daughter of the producer, and more.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Barry
    LOL!!! Love your line, “It may be the single worst picture, on a dollar for dollar basis, ever produced”. That would explain why it never showed up on tv here. It did show up finally on TCM the other day, so I recorded it just because Lorre is in it. Sounds like one of those films one takes in for 10-15 minutes a day before continuing the next day. Thanks for the info.
    Gordon

    Liked by 1 person

  44. All
    I was going over my recorded list from the cable video recorder and see I have a film I’m sure someone here mentioned a while back. ROAD GANG from 1936. Worth a look? Also a Fred MacMurray film called SMOKY from 1946. I’m getting behind again on the viewing it would seem as there are 87 films backed up.

    Gord

    Like

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