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GOOD OLD TEX
J JARVIS | HOLT, NORFOLK United Kingdom | 10/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I met a man who told me he had a large collection of westerns I asked him if he had any of Tex Ritters. His reply was he did`nt rate him as a western star or Roy Rogers, Lash Larue or any of the old Saturday cinema hero`s . I found it difficult to control myself. These were my boyhood hero`s. He only had the major stars James Stewart, Audie Murphy, John Wayne ect. Not that there is anything wrong with these people as they also rate highly in my own collection. But imagine my delight to find this on DVD and to be the first to review it..Don`t expect it to be first class quality as it is not it has scratches, it jumps and in one of the three movies a large piece is missing. But this is how I remember it from those bygone years when I was the front row kid in our local theatre now sadly gone and it is wonderful to see my great hero once again.Any of you who are the right age to remember those days I urge you to buy this DVD and to the people who produced it how about some more. Johnny Mack Brown, Charles Starret, Rocky Lane,Buck Jones and Tim McCOY are names that come to mind."
duckofsteel | Grass Valley, CA United States | 02/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Somebody needs to say that all three of these star Tex Ritter and one is directed by serial expert John English."
It would be great -- if only the movie were there!
S. Garfinkle | Austin, TX United States | 11/29/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this one specifically to see "Arizona Days." Unfortunately, this transfer is not only really spotty in both video and audio (I expected that), but it's missing a big chunk of the film, too. Skip this DVD and buy one of the other Tex Ritter DVDs from someone other label."
A good sampling of Tex Ritter B-westerns
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 10/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Katie, bar the door and Annie, get your gun when the sheepmen and cattlemen go to war over the only local watering hole. 1938's Rollin' Plains may still be in the same general mold as Tex Ritter's earlier B-westerns, but there is enough variety here to make it stand out from the crowd.
Tex Lawrence (Ritter) and his fellow Texas Rangers Ananias (Horace Murphy) and Pee Wee (the much-mustachioed Snub Pollard) are headed to Powder Flats, where a local war rages between the cattlemen and sheepmen. The good guys arrive in the aftermath of a major gun battle, making the place look like a ghost town. This leads to some classic comedy in the form of Ananias and Pee Wee exploring the dark, spooky hotel. Tex is all business, though, and he has his work cut out for him when the sheepmen frame John "Gospel" Moody for murder. Gospel owns the land at the center of the whole dispute, and it's up to Tex to clear Gospel's name before the townspeople hang an innocent man and those dirty, rotten sheepmen take his land. Tex ends up using a little psychological warfare this time around, with the help of a cooperative "ghost." You still have a big horse chase across the plains at the very end, but even this ends differently than your standard Tex Ritter B-western.
The film looks great, and the audio quality allows Tex's singing voice to come through loud and clear. Throw in a good, solid plot, some effective comedy bits, and a lovely lady (Harriet Bennet), and you've got one impressive Tex Ritter classic.
Arizona Days (1937) is a little bit different from your usual Tex Ritter B-western. Here, Tex departs from the normal cowboy life, isn't a marshal of some sorts in disguise, and doesn't even wind up in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Tex Malison (Ritter) is tired of chasing dogies all over the range; he would rather sing, and he gets a chance to do just that when he bails out Professor McGill's debt-ridden traveling minstrel show. When a bunch of ornery cowpokes sneak into the first show in Tombstone, Tex adds a little something special to his repertoire - and makes some enemies in the process of Harry Price (Forrest Taylor) and his thugs. Before you can say Wild Bill Hickock, the show's wagons are burning. It doesn't really take a genius to figure out who was behind the fire, and Tex sets out to save the show and bring the bad guys to justice. He lands a job as, of all things, a tax collector; the money's good, the job pits him against Price and his tax-evading fellows, and he gets to stay on the Workman ranch in close proximity to Marjorie Workman (Eleanor Stewart) - and Tex especially likes the sound of that. Price's gang doesn't take kindly to Tex's new duties, and that means trouble is a-brewin.'
Arizona Days is a pretty good film featuring a number of Tex Ritter songs. Salty Holmes' unusual harmonica-playing doesn't do much for me, though. Syd Saylor tags along as Tex's sidekick Claude "Grass" Hopper, but he doesn't serve much of a purpose apart from his funny name. Then there's young Billy Workman, a slightly problematic piece in the film's puzzle. In the end, Arizona Days is nothing all that special, but it is a little different, and that makes it an interesting and enjoyable Tex Ritter classic.
I have to admit I found The Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen disappointing for several reasons. First and foremost is the fact that the print I saw was so dark that I couldn't see what was going on half of the time - and, unfortunately, a good bit of important action takes place at night. The gang of Hooded Horsemen didn't really strike me as master criminals, either. They think they're tough with their hoods and black robes with the skull and crossbones on them, but the big scheme hatched from the mind of the mysterious Boss man seemed to me akin to taking the long way home to ill-gotten booty.
Tex Martin (Ritter) and his pal Stubby (Horace Murphy) are just out riding the range when they come up on one of Tex's old pals; with his dying breath, the poor guy tells Tex it was hooded horsemen what done him in and directs him to a nearby mine. I had to laugh when I saw the sheriff; Earl Dwire, the man usually behind all of the criminal activity in Tex's early pictures, actually plays the sheriff here - and a rather surly one, at that. Tex is determined to get the guys who killed his old friend, so he infiltrates the gang, gets arrested, and then breaks out in order to bring a little vigilante justice to the Old West. There's one little surprise at the end (which is really no surprise at all). By and large, Tex's singing is about the only entertaining thing about this 1937 Grand National release. The lyrics of Ride, Ride, Ride contain more action than the plot of this entire movie."
Decent if you like 30's westerns
danger ex machina | Philadelphia, PA | 06/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I confess, I'm an odd egg. A man of 26 who enjoys black and white westerns is just about unheard of, and many of my friends have to be nearly tied down not to beat it out the door when I put something from the Western Classics 50 pack on. Some eventually come around though, and I'm quite glad they don't think me mad anymore. At least not for watching Tex Ritter movies ;) Anyway, there's three of 'em here, and a fistful more on the aforementioned Western Classics 50 pack. "Arizona Days" is the best of the bunch, featuring Tex and his sidekick Grass Hopper as drifters who link up with a travelling stage coach troupe. The obligitory villains burn down the wagons after Tex humiliates them at a show. Tex gets appointed deputy county treasurer and proceeds to make life a little tougher for the bandits, who double as tex cheats. Along the way, the little brother of his love interest gets shot, which kinda shocked me for something made in 1937. Sadly, a big portion of the print is missing, including the vital part where the wagons get burnt. Tex's songs are good. He has a voice that takes a while to aclimate oneself with, but one you do, it's smooth as butter. "Rollin Plains" finds Tex as an undercover Texas Ranger trying to prove the innocence of a land owning preacher framed for murder by the sheep men grazing on his property. Can Tex get the Governor's pardon to the sheriff in time, or will Gospel Moody hang at dawn? "Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen", on the other hand, isn't so hot, with a confusing story about Tex investigating a gang itching to seize control of a lucrative mine. The riders reminded me of Klansmen, and that's not a good thing. The action is pretty subdued in this one, but again, Tex's songs are fine. Want to see Jack Tripper's pop in action? Head over and grab a copy of the Western Classics 50 pack released by Treeline. There's a whole bunch of great stuff in there. Now git!"