Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Great American Western V23 The|
Actors: Ken Maynard, Tom Keene, Hoot Gibson, Johnny Mack Brown
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns
Four western classics: Rebellion, Rawhide Rangers, Death Rides the Range, and Cavalcade of the West.
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A Boffo B-Western Sampler
Gary Peterson | Omaha, Nebraska USA | 10/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For fans of old western movies, Platinum's GREAT AMERICAN WESTERN packages are treasure troves of fun, overlooked and unfairly forgotten films. Volume 23 is recommended to western fans and especially those new to the B Westerns because this DVD serves as an excellent introduction to four stars of the genre: Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard, Tom Keene and Johnny Mack Brown.
The first film is CAVALCADE OF THE WEST (1936) featuring Hoot Gibson and Rex Lease in an enjoyable retelling of the familiar story of brothers separated when children who meet later in life on opposite sides of the law.
Next up is DEATH RIDES THE RANGE (1940) starring Ken Maynard in one of his later low-budget "Poverty Row" picture that despite its production shortcomings (and the paunch on Ken) is nonetheless an exciting and fast-moving hour.
The third film is REBELLION (1938), set in 1850 in the wake of our war with Mexico. President Zachary Taylor sends Tom Keene west to the California Territory to enforce our treaty to protect Mexicans living there from land-grabbing gringos. To right the wrongs, Keene teams up with future Cisco Kid Duncan Renaldo and his beautiful sister Rita Cansino (who would soon be billed and become famous as Rita Hayworth).
The final film is the best of the bunch, RAWHIDE RANGERS (1941), a polished Universal vehicle for Johnny Mack Brown as a Texas Ranger looking to avenge his brother's death at the hands of a robber band. Fuzzy Knight and the Rangers' Chinese cook provide just the right amount of comedy (including a play on the dice game routine from Abbott & Costello's BUCK PRIVATES, released the same year from the same studio). And as expected from an early '40s Universal picture, there are a few well-done musical numbers, but they never impede the action, of which there's plenty.
Four flicks for a fin! You really can't go wrong with any of them, but since these DVDs usually cost only five or six bucks they don't often feature pristine quality. I suspect the print we see is the best available, and sometimes it can be pretty rough. CAVALCADE and REBELLION are on the ragged end, faded and with missing frames and garbled dialogue throughout, but certainly watchable and enjoyable just the same. On the other end, RAWHIDE RANGERS is crisp and clear. Platinum's DVDs have attractive cases and single-sided discs with sharp-looking menus (accompanied by western music).
Any volume or boxset of the GREAT AMERICAN WESTERN is well worth the price for the hours of entertainment they bring, with Volume 23 an especially welcome sampler featuring films from four B-Western icons."