Frontier Badmen (1943)

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Frontier Badmen: Directed by Ford Beebe, William C. McGann. With Robert Paige, Anne Gwynne, Noah Beery Jr., Diana Barrymore. A group of cowboys ending their cattle drive in Abilene find that cattle prices are being kept artificially low, driving down the price they’ll get for their beef. They set out to change the situation.

“What a thrill, to find a Western Iu0026#39;ve not even heard of before, and then to find it is almost perfect.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFirst, of course, is the story: Gerald Geraghty and Morgan Cox wrote the original screenplay. Perhaps almost every individual element has been used previously, but the business premise is new to this type of Western. And it really works.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNext is an extraordinary cast — although back-stage gossip says there is at least one player who had a drinking problem. Therefore, since that does not show on screen, directors — one of whom, William C. McGann, doesnu0026#39;t get screen credit — and fellow players as well as editor Fred R. Feitshans Jr. and cinematographer William A. Sickner all get extra credit.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUniversal was not known for big-budget pictures, but this one looks big-budget. First, with its aforementioned extraordinary cast plus hundreds of cattle, who must have wreaked a lot of damage.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003ePerformers all, each and every one, deserve special mention, but I will stop with one: Robert Paige. He had everything that should be needed to be a star: Tall, handsome looks, a great voice, even for singing, which he did a lot of though not here, athleticism allowing him to be a good cowboy, and acting talent that let him play quite a variety of roles.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHis adorable co-star Anne Gwynne said he was afraid of horses, but that too doesnu0026#39;t show on screen. However it might explain why he wasnu0026#39;t in a lot more Westerns.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu0026quot;Frontier Badmenu0026quot; is another inane generic title, telling us nothing about the movie, and the movie seems to be hard to find, especially online. I highly recommend it and hope you can find a copy, perhaps at your local library. It is well worth the search. One great film!”


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