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Sunday, May 5, 2019

El Paso (1949)

An ex-Confederate captain (John Payne), who is a lawyer, travels to the Texas town of El Paso where he reunites with an old flame (Gail Russell). He debates settling down in the town and marrying his former sweetheart but the corruption of the town's sheriff (Dick Foran) and thuggish ways of  the town's landowner (Sterling Hayden) force his hand and it's not long before he turns his back on the law. Directed by Lewis R. Foster, this is a forgettable western. Despite its attractive cast, the film is all surface with neither the entertainment value of a good western nor the irony and ambiguities that a Budd Boetticher could have brought to a western like this. The film was shot in the Cinecolor process and the print I watched (although advertised as a new restoration) was pretty ragged looking which does a disservice to Ellis W. Carter's (INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN) New Mexico location shooting. With Gabby Hayes, Mary Beth Hughes, Henry Hull and H.B. Warner.

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