HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deeper You Dig, The
Trouble Brewing
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Angel and the Badman Taming of the Duke
Year: 1947
Director: James Edward Grant
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey, Laredo Stevens, Irene Rich, Lee Dixon, Stephen Grant, Tom Powers, Paul Hurst, Olin Howland, John Halloran, Joan Barton, Craig Woods, Marshall Reed, Louis Faust
Genre: Western, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Wounded in a shootout, notorious outlaw Quirt Evans (John Wayne) finds shelter with a kindly Quaker family. He is nursed back to health and falls in love with Penelope Worth (Gail Russell), whose warm heart and altruistic philosophy gradually changes his outlook on life. However, sagely, sharp-shooting lawman Wistful McLintock (Harry Carey) is certain Quirt will lapse into his outlaw ways, while bad guys Laredo Stevens (Bruce Cabot) and Hondo Jeffries (Louis Faust) are out to get him.

Angel and the Badman was the first movie produced by John Wayne and was considered quite a radical departure from your average Republic western. Later in his career Wayne’s pioneer spirit slid into reactionary conservatism but here he shows respect and genuine appreciation for the peace-loving, philanthropic Quaker way of life, albeit tempered with a certain scepticism as to whether their ideals can survive in the Wild West. The film does try to have it both ways, advocating pacifism and fighting for what is right as when Quirt coerces grumpy land baron Frederick Carson (Paul Hurst) into unblocking his dam and let local farmers share the water.

And yet the screenplay by writer-director James Edward Grant is nicely balanced and works better by not having the Worth family force their beliefs on Quirt - it’s their innate goodwill and decency that moves him. Indeed their saintliness is counterbalanced by their friendship with good-hearted atheist Dr. Mangram (Tom Powers), which shows human decency is not always bound with religion. Ultimately the story is less about an outlaw embracing religion than it is about him embracing community. This was one of only two films directed by Grant, the other being Ring of Fear (1954) a circus-set murder mystery starring pulp author Mickey Spillane. He was a close friend and regular collaborator with John Wayne, writing movies like Hondo (1953), The Commancheros (1961) and McClintock! (1963) before his death in 1966. Working with second-unit director/stunt co-ordinator Yakima Canutt, whose talents graced everything from Stagecoach (1939) to Where Eagles Dare (1969), Grant packs the film with some memorable stunts, with a cattle stampede and Quirt and Penny’s amazing plunge into a ravine being the standouts, while Archie Stout’s glossy black and white photography does some striking tricks with light.

This is easily one of John Wayne’s most unabashedly romantic films and its success is down to his chemistry with co-star Gail Russell. Unfairly maligned for her inexperience, Russell has a warm, lively screen presence and sells us on Penny’s innocence without making her seem hopelessly naïve. Note her sly smile when Quirt faints in her arms or the scene where she listens while he babbles in his sleep, plus her tearful speech towards the finale is really moving. Painfully shy and ill at ease with stardom, Gail Russell sadly became an alcoholic which wrecked her career and personal life before her tragically early death in 1961 at the age of thirty-six. Wayne was quite fond of Russell and briefly took her under his protective wing when they reunited for the popular seafaring adventure Wake of the Red Witch (1948), with her other notable film being The Uninvited (1944).

Also of note among the cast is former silent screen cowboy legend Harry Carey, who is wonderfully wry as the delightfully named Wistful McLintock - and gets the hero out of a fix since the pacifist message paints him into a corner. Like Wayne, Carey was a long-time collaborator with John Ford and in actual fact his trademark of holding his shoulder as he walks into the sunset inspired the iconic final shot in The Searchers (1956).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4949 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: