SUGARFOOT (1951) is part of this weekend's blogathon celebrating the birthday of everyone's favorite Western hero, Randolph Scott. The blogathon is being hosted by Toby of 50 Westerns From the 50s; please visit his site here for lots of great links!
SUGARFOOT (1951) is a Randolph Scott Western released by Warner Bros. The movie, which has nothing to do with the 1957 Warner Bros. TV Western starring Will Hutchins, has been much harder for Scott fans to see than his other Westerns, and it's to be hoped that it will appear on DVD at some point in the future. It's not one of Scott's very best Westerns, but it's still plenty entertaining.
Sugarfoot learns a great deal -- including how to properly wear a gun belt for a duel -- from dependable Fly-Up-the-Creek Jones (Arthur Hunnicutt). He'll need that wisdom as from the time he arrives in Arizona he knocks heads with Jacob Stint (Raymond Massey). Stint robs Sugarfoot and tries to injure or kill him multiple times, and most importantly the two men tangle over lovely Reva (Adele Jergens), singer at The Diana saloon.
Other than the fact that his character has to learn a certain amount "on the job," so to speak, it's your typical Scott role: a courtly man who may face tough odds at times, but his intelligence, resourcefulness, and integrity pull him through, with his loyal friends by his side. Of course, "typical Scott" is a very good thing, and he is as enjoyable as always.
The courtship with Reva is particularly well done, with Reva not a stock character but a woman who wants to pull her own financial weight in the life she and Sugarfoot begin to plan together.
Reva also threatens to kill one of Sugarfoot's enemies if Sugarfoot doesn't return safely from a trip, and when Sugarfoot questions her she makes clear she's as genuinely tough about protecting him as he would be about her. Scott's amazed grin as he turns away from her at the end of their conversation is delightful. This is one fiery woman! I would have enjoyed it if the movie had run a few minutes longer and devoted even more time to developing their romantic relationship.
Laura Wagner wrote about Adele Jergens for Films of the Golden Age, and here's more by Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir Foundation.
SUGARFOOT was directed by frequent Scott collaborator Edward L. Marin and shot in Technicolor by Wilfred M. Cline. The film is nicely scored by Max Steiner.
The script by Russell Hughes based on a novel by Clarence Budington Kelland. The film runs 80 minutes.
Sincere thanks to my fellow Westerns fan Jerry Entract for making it possible for me to see this hard-to-find film.