Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Richard Dix, Jane Wyatt, Albert Dekker, Eugene Pallette, Victor Jory
Director: George Archainbaud
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 06/22/2004
Brisk Grade B western with a twist.
A. Andersen | Bellows Falls, VT USA | 07/29/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This "small" western has the unusual plot of a town marshall turning on the corrupt politicians who put him in place and equally battling them and the usual outlaws. Dix is fine in the role. Jane Wyatt is love interest. Victor Jory suave as the all too human villain. Oscar nom for Original Score."
Likable high-b western from the early 40s
Steven Hellerstedt | 05/14/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After stopping a robbery, a wandering cowboy is elected marshal of the small town of Broken Lance. Before long, though, he finds himself at loggerheads with an unscrupulous businessman and town leader.
Richard Dix plays the cowboy turned marshal THE KANSAN, a better-than-average western from 1943. The businessman, who is squeezing the townspeople and passing cattle drivers out of every red cent possible, is played by veteran heavy Albert Dekker. Rounding out the strong cast is Victor Jory as Dekker's gambler brother, Eugene Pallette - on a horse and clad in chaps, no less! - as a friend of Dix and extorted cattle boss, and Jane Wyatt (Margaret Anderson on `Father Knows Best') as the love interest.
The plot gets a little heavy - Dekker is cheating the town, brother Jory is an accomplice who may or may not betray his brother, Wyatt is a pretty hotel owner over whom Jory and Dix inevitably compete, a satchel of cash must be deposited in Dekker's bank by 5pm or something terrible will happen. A little much for 80-minutes of b-movie escapism, but the mood is lightened by a couple of unexpected musical scenes. The King's Men, a Sons of the Pioneers type group, sing `Lullaby of the Herd' around a campfire, and showgirl Beryl Wallace gives a stirring rendition of `When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again' in the Golden Nugget saloon. The script is complicated, if not necessarily smart, and the production values are high enough.
The mystery is why this movie fell to a public-domain recycler like Alpha. Richard Dix may have been a bigger star in the silent era than he was by 1943, but he exudes an acceptable amount of jowly authority. My guess is that this movie was orphaned because of the unfortunate appearance of Willie Best, an African-American actor from the thirties and forties. Best's character is named Bones, which ought to tell you as much as you need to know about how the script handled him. Bones is shuffling, trembling, bug-eyed and thick as porridge. This heavy a stereotype is uncomfortable to watch today, and thankfully not universal in movies of that era. At least Best got a paycheck out of it, and was credited under his real name - my favorite internet movie site informs us that Best was credited in some movies simply as `Sleep `n' Eat.' Mind-boggling. Besides that bit of unfortunate casting, THE KANSAN was pretty good, with a number of familiar faces to liven things up. The Alpha print is in good condition, too.
A film for a Saturday matinee for kids
Jacques COULARDEAU | OLLIERGUES France | 11/10/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It is not a B-series film, but rather a C-series film, or even something somewhat more advanced in the alphabet. But you will get the crooks and the good marshall, the rotten apple in the community, in this case the banker, and we know that from the very beginning, the calvacades and other chases in the « wild » landscape with many horses and quite a few casual or planned casualties, a love affair and even a sacrifice for a woman, a lot of drinking and some card-playing, and all other typical western elements. But do not ask for subtlety in this film : even the timeline is not very correct and some shortcuts are longer, quite longer, than the longcuts, but, well, we can do with that. It is funny. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU"
Richard Dix---should be better known....
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 07/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE KANSAN appeared in 1943, and was for all intents and purposes, the last major role for actor Richard Dix. Dix had starred in the 1931 classic CIMARRON, and throughout the 1930s and early '40s starred in some well-done Westerns. Perhaps his biggest role came in Republic Pictures' MAN OF CONQUEST (a retelling of the Sam Houston saga). THE KANSAN is one of his better Westerns, and certainly deserves a viewing from time to time. The present video release, THE KANSAN, is a traditional Western yarn, released by UA, with good production values, and a strong cast, including Jane Wyatt, Albert Dekker, Victor Jory, Rod Cameron, Eugene Pallette, Clem Bevans, and Willie Best (who adds comic relief). The action is swift and true to form. Dix is very solid as the marshall out to clean up the town and undo the machinations of the corrupt clique that originally put him in power. All in all, enjoyable.
This release is in Standard Play speed, and the video quality is fairly decent."