LAW OF THE BADLANDS is a solid Tim Holt Western with plenty of action.
Tim plays Dave Saunders, a character name he used in several of the Westerns he made around this time frame. In this entry Dave and sidekick Chito (Richard Martin) are Texas Rangers tasked with going undercover to break up a counterfeit money ring.
All goes smoothly until a dance hall performer (Joan Dixon) who is one of Chito's many old flames recognizes him in the audience and inadvertently exposes his true identity.
Longtime Western villain Harry Woods has the chance to play a good guy helping Dave and Chito. Robert Livingston of the '30s Three Mesquiteers series is also in the cast.
Lesley Selander and photographed in black and white by George E. Diskant. This one was shot on local Southern California locations.
I've mentioned in the past how often in the Holt films "the wind rustles the trees, the sun reflects off the creeks, clouds hang low in the sky, and you can almost smell the dust when it kicks up." I came across an article on the Holt films today by Tom Stempel, formerly of Los Angeles City College, which asserts that sometimes the wind blows in the trees in the foreground but not the background, but his research into studio documents -- was there a wind machine? -- didn't provide an answer to why that was so. I'll have to watch for that and see if I agree with his description! Regardless, the author writes "However it happened, the trees glistening in the wind make the Holts just that much better than other B westerns." No doubt about that.
Tim Holt Western Classics Collection Vol. 3, is absolutely beautiful. We're so fortunate to have these films available in pristine copies.
Previous reviews of Tim Holt Westerns: THE RENEGADE RANGER (1938), ROBBERS OF THE RANGE (1941), THUNDER MOUNTAIN (1947), GUNS OF HATE (1948), THE MYSTERIOUS DESPERADO (1949), RIDERS OF THE RANGE (1950), STORM OVER WYOMING (1950), RIDER FROM TUCSON (1950), BORDER TREASURE (1950), and RIO GRANDE PATROL (1950).
Related posts: A Birthday Tribute to Richard Martin; Happy Birthday, Tim Holt!