Monday, April 22, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Rider From Tucson (1950)

RIDER FROM TUCSON is an enjoyable Tim Holt Western filmed largely in the Alabama Hills outside Lone Pine, California.

Tim plays Dave Saunders, the same name he went by in his previous film, STORM OVER WYOMING (1950).

Dave and his buddy Chito (the irrepressible Richard Martin, below right) are riding in the Tucson Rodeo when they receive word an old friend is getting married in Colorado and wants them to be his best men.

When Dave and Chito arrive for the wedding, their friend Tug (William Phipps) is being stalked by several people who want to find and steal his gold mine claim, and Tug's bride-to-be Jane (Elaine Riley) is soon kidnapped to increase the pressure on Tug.

Needless to say, Dave and Chito immediately set out to help Tug and Jane, taking on all the villains including the greedy, murderous Gypsy (Veda Ann Borg).

The script for this one, by Ed Earl Repp, is on the creaky side -- but the movie is 60 fast-paced minutes with Holt, Martin, and Nicholas Musuraca's gorgeous photography of the Alabama Hills, and sometimes that's plenty! I enjoyed it.

The movie exists in the same "B" Western never-never land inhabited by Roy Rogers, where you're never quite sure what era it is; the opening rodeo scene appears to be set in modern-day Tucson, with some nice footage of the Tucson Rodeo. (It reminded me a lot of the rodeo held in Bridgeport in the High Sierras.) But as soon as Dave and Chito arrive in Colorado, it's apparent we're in the 1800s after all!

Though the movie was set in Colorado, most of it was filmed in California's Alabama Hills, an area used in countless Westerns; it's even posed as more exotic locations, such as standing in for India in GUNGA DIN (1939). A couple of my own photos of the area where the movie was made can be found here and here.

RIDER FROM TUCSON was directed by Lesley Selander.

This movie is available from the Warner Archive in the 10-film Tim Holt Western Classics Collection, Vol. 3.


Blogger Lasso The Movies said...

You can't go wrong with the Tim Holt Collection! These films are so easy going that I have a hard time being too critical of them. A great way to spend a hour... or so.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Lasso — there's a charm and a grace to these movies I can't describe. I love these films so much.

Lone Pine has never looked better than it does in these movies. (Laura, I'll thank you again for my rocks!)

5:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree with you both. These films are so enjoyable and relaxing, and they really do look great!

And you're welcome, Toby! :) :)

Best wishes,

12:13 AM  

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