Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Three Bad Men/Hangman's House|
Actors: June Collyer, Larry Kent, George O'Brien, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen
Director: John Ford
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Drama
Disc 1 Side A: HANGMAN'S HOUSE Disc 1 Side B: THREE BAD MEN
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 12/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I decided to checkout "Hangman's House" and "Three Bad Men" because they were directed by John Ford. In the case of "Hangman's House", I knew that it was also one of John Wayne's first films; early enough that I figured I was going to have to look real hard to try and pick him out. Not so, it turned out. He was quite visable in the horse race sequence. I didn't see him listed on the cast. If he had been, I suppose it would have been under the name of Marion Michael Morrison. "Hangman's House" is a reasonably good film but not as good as its' title might suggest. It stars Victor McLaughlin in a rather curous role. We see him as a part of the Foreign Legion in Africa who gets a cable and has to rush home "to kill a man". The rest of the story revolves around a young woman forced to marry a man who is not the one she would have chosen. She has to do this to satisfy her dying father who was known as a hanging judge (hence the title). This story is interesting enough and the dramatic presentation is pretty good for its' time. However, the various different roles really don't fit together all that well.
The better film of the two on this DVD is "Three Bad Men". It's a bit reminiscent of Ford's later "Three Godfathers" although the focus in this film is on the fortunes of a young lady. The three "bad men" are certainly cheats, thieves and varmits but they have the sort of silver lining that Ford does so well in presenting. These culprits wander into a mining boom town in the Black Hills and endear themselves to a young lady who has already met her eventual romantic interest. The title trio aren't after romance (except that they make it their business to find this lady a suitable husband). There's a lot of corruption in this boom town and our likeable bad guys do their best to keep the other villians from corrupting their young lady. Their unrefined clumsy methods are what makes the film as good as it is. I was also impressed with the panoramic outdoor locations and the large cast of characters. The wagon trains and the stampede of the gold-rushers was much more than I expected in a film from that era.
There is an interesting connection between the two movies which is probably why they were yoked together. Both movies involve a young lady who is led astray by a coniving Lothario. In both films, her brother seeks revenge."