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Frontier Marshal

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    Todd Jordan
    Smut is good.

  • Frontier Marshal



    Released by: 20th Century Fox Cinema Archives
    Released on: 6/20/2012
    Director: Allan Dwan
    Cast: Randolph Scott, Nancy Kelly, Cesar Romero, Binnie Barnes, John Carradine
    Year: 1939
    Purchase from Amazon

    The Movie:
    Wyatt Earp (Randolph Scott) arrives in the town of Tombstone, quickly establishing himself as someone who doesn't take crap from anyone. His reputation precedes him, and when the mayor learns of whom he's got in his town, he makes the stranger the Town Marshal. But not everyone in the camp is happy to see Earp, including one of the saloon owners and town slime ball Ben Carter, played by John Carradine. Carter has his hands in everything illicit and doesn't want that do-good Earp to muck up his operation. With the help of his main whore Jerry (Binnie Barnes), schemes are devised to initiate the lawman's demise.

    Doc Halliday strolls into town (played with flair by Cesar Romero) at the request of one of his women who happens to be Jerry, and she wants Doc to get rid of Earp. The Doc quickly takes a liking to the Marshal and becomes his ally against the bad guys in the area. He's sick though, as well as lovesick for his old flame Sarah (Nancy Kelly). She used to work with him when he was an actual doctor, delivering babies, before he started going around taking life instead of helping people. Her feminine wiles cause him conflict, as does Jerry's jealousy, and it costs him dearly (don't read the back cover of the DVD). This leaves Marshal Earp to right the wrong that befell the good doctor and he aims to make the cemetery grow faster.

    There's not a whole lot going on here that hasn't been seen a zillion times in any old western watched on a boring Sunday with your dad. But it's entertaining enough for a nice clean western, produced under the restraints of the Hays Code. Clean meaning no blood, no overt violence, no nudity, and no swearing. Deadwood this isn't. But it is an decent way to pass the time (70 whole minutes) and isn't too taxing on the brain.

    One thing that the movie has going for it is Cesar Romero. The man owned this film, even with B-movie heavy weights John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr. sharing screen time with him. They should have cast him as Earp instead. He may possibly have been the best Earp ever on screen, but that will never be known of course. Sadly, he'll probably always be known for his role as The Joker in the 60s Batman show, even though he deserves to be remembered for so much more. His performance as Doc Halliday (note the spelling) is impressive and makes the movie worth watching. More Cesar Romero, please.

    Video/Audio/Extras:
    The full screen picture looks nice and crisp, with good black levels. The old black-and-white features always look so nice when taken care of. The transfer seems void of any bothersome glitches. The audio is a simple mono track with dialogue that is easy to understand. As with the image, the sound seems clear of anything out of the ordinary. There are no extras on the disc.

    The Final Word:

    Easy on the senses, Frontier Marshal may not give the viewer any sense of what really went down at the OK Corral, but it still makes for a decent little western. It's certainly worth a look for those who admire the genre.









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