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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Strange Lady In Town (1955)

In 1880 New Mexico, a woman doctor (Greer Garson) arrives from Boston to practice medicine in the West after dealing with male bigotry toward female doctors in the East. She immediately clashes with the chauvinist doctor (Dana Andrews) practicing in Santa Fe but there's also an underlying attraction between the two. Directed with a heavy fist by Mervyn LeRoy (QUO VADIS), this is a pedestrian western made somewhat interesting by its unusual (for its time) moderately feminist bent. I kept waiting for Garson's character to cave in (like Hepburn often did in her films with Tracy) and ride off into the sunset with Andrews while letting him do the doctoring but the script stays true to its feisty heroine. Aside from that angle, it's a pretty predictable western right down to Frankie Laine singing the title song written by Dimitri Tiomkin, of course. This is a fifties western after all. Along for the ride are Cameron Mitchell as Garson's no good brother and Lois Smith (FIVE EASY PIECES) as Andrews' tomboy daughter. With Walter Hampden, Adele Jergens, Frank DeKova, Robert J. Wilke, Russell Johnson and Nick Adams as Billy The Kid.

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