Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Border Treasure (1950)

I've really been enjoying working my way through the 10-film Tim Holt Western Classics Collection, Vol. 3, from the Warner Archive.

Having previously watched STORM OVER WYOMING (1950) and RIDER FROM TUCSON (1950), today I enjoyed BORDER TREASURE, a good hour-long yarn filmed in Lone Pine's Alabama Hills, with additional scenes shot at Mission San Fernando.

After a devastating earthquake hits Mexico, Anita Castro (Inez Cooper) spearheads a campaign to collect valuables from Arizonans which she will take to Mexico and exchange for supplies for victims of the quake.

A group of bad guys (headed by actors John Doucette and House Peters Jr.) collaborate with greedy saloon girl Stella (Jane Nigh) to steal the treasure, but cowboys Ed Porter (Tim Holt) and Chito Rafferty (Richard Martin) are determined to stop the theft and help Anita get it safely to Mexico.

This is a typical exemplar of a Tim Holt "B" Western, fast paced and good looking. It provides an enjoyable hour.

Jane Nigh, seen in this still with Tim Holt, was born in 1925 and began her career at 20th Century-Fox, where her parts included a small role as Dick Haymes' sweetheart Eleanor, who can't go to the STATE FAIR (1945). Later roles included playing Tom Brown's fiancee in OPERATION HAYLIFT (1950), a docudrama with Bill Williams and Ann Rutherford which I liked a lot. Jane Nigh passed on in 1993.

Inez Cooper started out at MGM, where she was made up to look rather like MGM's big star Hedy Lamarr. She had bit parts and small roles in films such as THE AFFAIRS OF MARTHA (1942) and I MARRIED AN ANGEL (1942). BORDER TREASURE was her next-to-last film. Cooper's performance in BORDER TREASURE is slightly stilted, perhaps reflecting that she didn't often have roles this large, but she's a lovely lady. Cooper was born in 1922 and it appears that she is still living, per IMDb. (2016 Update: IMDb has since been updated to reflect that Cooper passed away in 1993.)

BORDER TREASURE was directed by George Archainbaud, whose career spanned silent movies to the LASSIE TV series. It was written by Norman Houston and filmed by J. Roy Hunt.

Tim Holt and Richard Martin can always be counted on to provide Western fans with solid entertainment.


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