I'm moving right along in my quest to catch up with previously unseen Randolph Scott Westerns. CARSON CITY (1952) was my fifth Scott Western in the last three weeks! It's available from the Warner Archive as part of the Randolph Scott Classics Collection.
Of the five Scott Westerns I've seen since late January, my favorite was GUNFIGHTERS (1947), released by Columbia. I'd rank the Warner Bros. film CARSON CITY as a solidly entertaining Scott film which falls around the mid-range of the five films.
Some in Carson City fear that the railroad will bring problems to town; among them is Jeff's half-brother Allen (Richard Webb), who works alongside Susan (Lucille Norman) at the local newspaper. Allen is also jealous of Susan's clear admiration for Jeff, cementing conflict between the brothers.
The movie has a handful of standout moments, chief among them being when Millican draws on Scott in the saloon. Millican promptly has his gun shot out of his hand, and as Scott angrily twirls his gun back into his holster, he tells Millican not to draw if he can't back it up.
There are a few other nice moments like that but for the most part it's a very straightforward film, told at a brisk pace but without a great deal of originality. Sometimes, though, a standard Western like this really hits the spot.
Massey was also the villain in Scott's SUGARFOOT (1951). He's particularly effective as a man who is all smiles and courteousness on the outside, while inwardly seething.
I enjoyed Lucille Norman as one of the leads in the musical PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE (1951), but here she's a pretty run-of-the mill Western heroine. She has moments where she shows a bit of spunk but all in all she's a fairly average leading lady.
CARSON CITY runs 87 minutes. It was directed by Andre De Toth (RAMROD) and filmed in Warnercolor by John Boyle. The movie was shot at Southern California movie ranches. I felt pretty certain that the mining camp in CARSON CITY was previously seen in the Warner Bros. Western BARRICADE (1950), which also costarred Raymond Massey.
In addition to the five-film Randolph Scott Classics Collection, CARSON CITY can be purchased from the Warner Archive as a single-title release.
The Warner Archive DVD is perfectly watchable, though it must be admitted this is not one of their sharper-looking releases. The film is quite grainy at times. I suspect at least part of the DVD print quality is due to the fact it was shot in Warnercolor, which tends to look harsh even at its best. There are a couple other noticeable flaws, but this film was a very early Archive release when the emphasis was on putting the movies out "as is." In more recent years, of course, many of the movies released by the Archive are remastered. This disclaimer aside, this is a title Randolph Scott fans will want to have in their collections. There are no extras.
Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD collection. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.