Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Hank Bell, Earl Dwire, Fern Emmett, Helen Foster, Si Jenks
Director: Phil Rosen
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 11/04/2005
Little Joe on the prairie
Steven Hellerstedt | 03/06/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Hmmm. Well, okay, I could crib the story description off the back of the dvd case but that would only leave about five minutes (out of fifty-six) of surprise. A certain well known website's plot description blows the whole thing. What to do?
Nick the `Kid' is played by Bob Steele, a diminutive star who looks younger than his then 25-years and acts a little stiffer than someone who by then had appeared in nearly 50 movies. Steele's acting career began in 1920, twelve years before YOUNG BLOOD was released, and ended with a small, uncredited appearance in 1973's "Charley Varrick." Long career, filled with lead roles in low-low-budgeters like YOUNG BLOOD and a whole lot of `Teamster #3' and `Bearded Man Being Questioned by Judge Kyle's' credits in-between. The `Bearded Ban' credit, or uncredit, is real. Some stuff you can't make up. I've seen Steele in his later career guest appearing on `Maverick' and `Have Gun, Will Travel,' and he was a regular (Trooper Duffy) on `F Troop.' The young Steele kind of reminds me of a less menacing Victor Jory, without Jory's acting talent, of course, or a young Michael Langdon minus the charisma.
Nick the `Kid' heists a stagecoach with the boys, including a double dipping town sheriff. Among the passengers are Countess Lola Montaine and her pet shoulder monkey. The Countess is coming to Grass Valley to operatically entertain the locals. The exotically foreign Countess is played by pretty, young Naomi Judge from Mitchell, South Dakota with either a Mexican, Swedish, or Viennese accent. The accent don't work, but Naomi's got aplomb and her monkey's spunky. The crunch comes when pretty blond Gail Winters (Helen Foster, Wampas Baby Star of 1929) convinces Nick that he loves her and wants to settle down as a Pony Express rider.
Okay, so the plot's a little loose and rickety. The main point is that Steele plays a 1932 version of `disaffected youth,' a young prairie gangster ripe to prove that a good woman (Foster) can set him straight, although the bad one (Naomi Judge) looks like she'd be a lot more fun. All things considered YOUNG BLOOD is an okay movie to spend an hour with, although the little I know about Steele includes the fact that he was one of the quickest draws in Hollywood. In the `Have Gun, Will Travel' episode I mentioned earlier they play up that fact by having the show's star, Richard Boone, and guest Steele draw off side by side. Disappointingly, there are no gun-drawing showdowns in this one.