Die Bande der Fünf (1940)

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Die Bande der Fünf: Directed by George Marshall. With Randolph Scott, Kay Francis, Brian Donlevy, George Bancroft. Fictionalized story of how the Dalton brothers were wronged by a crooked development company and became outlaws when the corrupt local courts offered them no justice.

“East coast lawyer Tod Jackson (Randolph Scott) travels to Kansas where he meets the Dalton brothers: Grat (Brian Donlevy), Bob (Broderick Crawford), Ben (Stuart Erwin), and Emmett (Frank Albertson). Theyu0026#39;re farmers, with Bob a local law man, but when a crooked land company tries to steal their property, the brothers end up fugitives from the law. They soon embark on a spree of bank and train robberies that mark them as the most wanted men in the region. Meanwhile, Tod makes time with Bobu0026#39;s girlfriend Julie (Kay Francis).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe cast is good, but the goofy script is almost 100% pure baloney, and production lurches from nicely competent to threadbare and cheap. One primary problem is that ostensible protagonist Scott is pointless to most of the story. I kept waiting for him to be reluctantly forced to go after his old friends, but that never happens. His character could have been removed from the whole thing with little change to the overall tale. I expected Donlevy to take the lead among the Daltons, but instead itu0026#39;s Crawford who gets the leadership role. Andy Devine plays the comic relief, naturally, but his character is also an inveterate skirt-chaser with a succession of women on his knee, not exactly what one expects from Devine.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eTwo odds points from the film: thereu0026#39;s a scene where the gang robs a train, and they steal the horses belonging to lawmen on the train. The horses are on an open-top corral train car, and they actually ride them off of the side of the moving train. It looked like an extremely dangerous stunt for the horses, but itu0026#39;s shown with no cuts, and none of the horses seemed injured, despite some spills. Thereu0026#39;s also a big shoot-out in the movie with the gang members inside a saloon with their opponents outside in the street and on opposite buildings. There is a lengthy exchange of gunfire through the saloonu0026#39;s large picture window, and the window never breaks, instead the bullets passing through and leaving bullet holes. Once or twice I can believe it, but a succession of rifle and pistol shots through a large sheet of glass and no shattering? Thatu0026#39;s some strong glass!”


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