Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Comanche Territory (1950)

COMANCHE TERRITORY is an entertaining Western teaming Macdonald Carey and Maureen O'Hara against greedy silver miners. It may not be a top-drawer Universal Western, but it's nonetheless quite an enjoyable way to pass the time.

Carey plays Jim Bowie, who locks heads with fiesty Katie Howard (O'Hara) in the town of Crooked Tongue. Bowie is in the area to make sure a U.S. treaty with the Comanches to protect sacred lands is upheld, but there are those, including Katie's brother Stacey (Charles Drake), who want silver from Comanche land at any cost.

Carey, recently seen by me in CAVE OF OUTLAWS (1951), is engaging in a low-key performance as Bowie -- which makes the sudden use of his famous knife all the more effective. O'Hara, of course, needs no introduction. She and Carey have fun with their combative characters, who gradually warm up to one another; there's a hint of romance in the air, but alas, he has business to attend to in Texas first...

It's a short and sweet 76-minute film with a story that moves along at a breakneck pace. It's got a little bit of everything, as Westerns go, including action, comedy, a big battle sequence, and the chance for lovely Maureen to sing.

The movie's finest attribute is absolutely gorgeous Technicolor location shooting in Sedona, Arizona. Needless to say, the red-haired O'Hara looks lovely in Technicolor as well! The cinematographer was Maury Gertsman.

Will Geer has a nice supporting role as a former Congressman who becomes friends with Bowie. The supporting cast also includes Pedro de Cordoba, James Best, Glenn Strange, Parley Baer, and Iron Eyes Cody.

This film was directed by George Sherman.

COMANCHE TERRITORY is available on DVD-R in the Universal Vault Series sold by Amazon. An even better option is to get it on DVD in the brand-new Classic Westerns 10-Movie Collection; it's a great deal, with 10 movies on pressed discs for a lower price than buying COMANCHE TERRITORY as a standalone MOD title. The COMANCHE TERRITORY print in the 10-movie set is excellent.

The DVD can be rented from ClassicFlix.

This movie has also had multiple releases on Region 2 DVD in Europe, and it was released on VHS in the Universal Western Collection back in 1995.

For more information on the film career of Macdonald Carey, please visit the centennial birthday tribute I posted last week.


Blogger barrylane said...

Just an impression. In 1950 at the now non-existent Rivoli Theatre in Rutherford, New Jersey I saw three co-feature Universal westerns. Wyoming Mail, which was terrible. Cave of Outlaws and Comanche Territory. The last was fun and memorable. While Macdonald Carey was more than an acceptable leading man, Maureen O'Hara was loaded with good looks, charm and energy. The director, George Sherman made it all happen. It seems that he is just now in the process of getting some creative auteur style love. I don't quite believe in this form of film criticism but Sherman at his level as capable as anyone.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Very nice memories! Thanks for sharing them.

I've never seen WYOMING MAIL but had a lot of fun watching both COMANCHE TERRITORY and CAVE OF OUTLAWS in the last few days. March seems to be the month for Macdonald Carey as I also watched THE LAWLESS recently.

Best wishes,

12:29 AM  

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