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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

South Of St. Louis (1949)

After guerilla raiders burn down their ranch, three friends go their separate ways. Two of them (Joel McCrea, Zachary Scott) run guns for the Confederacy from Mexico while the third (Douglas Kennedy) joins the Confederate army. But the two gun runners find themselves at odds with each other when one of them becomes greedy for power and money. An average western whose appeal is heightened by some gorgeous Technicolor scenery and a couple of minor divergences from the expected cliches. Notably Zachary Scott and Dorothy Malone (as McCrea's fiancee) who have character arcs that allow them a little more leeway in their performances. Other than that, it's your standard oater and once again with Confederate sympathizers as heroes fighting against the Union. Directed by Ray Enright (THE SPOILERS) with Max Steiner nudging the film along with one of his generic scores. With Alexis Smith as the standard "bad" saloon girl with the heart of gold (what western would be complete without her?), Victor Jory, Bob Steele and Alan Hale.

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