Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Arizona Legion (1939)

ARIZONA LEGION is the third and final RKO Western costarring George O'Brien and Laraine Johnson, who changed her name to Laraine Day when she moved to MGM later in 1939. ARIZONA LEGION follows O'Brien and Day's earlier films, BORDER G-MAN (1938) and PAINTED DESERT (1938).

This time around Johnson/Day plays Letty, who is disturbed by the strange rowdy behavior of her fiance, Boone (O'Brien). Unbeknownst to Letty, Boone has been secretly commissioned by the Governor of Arizona to captain an undercover group of Arizona Rangers and infiltrate criminal elements in the area.

Boone is regularly thwarted by Army Lt. Bob Ives (Carlyle Moore), who doesn't know about Boone's mission. Bob would also like the chance to romance Letty.

It's not an especially good O'Brien film, but it's entertaining and all is wrapped up neatly in 58 minutes. I would have liked O'Brien and Day to share more scenes together, but their first scene together after she realizes the truth is cute.

I was also mighty impressed by O'Brien's flying leap onto his horse, no stirrups needed, and it looked like he might possibly have been doing his own stunt work, jumping from his horse to the back of a stagecoach.

Chill Wills appears as Boone's sidekick in an early credit in his long acting career. Tom Chatterton, Glenn Strange, Harry Cording, Monte Montague, and Bob Burns are also in the cast.

ARIZONA LEGION was directed by David Howard.

The movie was filmed by Harry J. Wild at Southern California locations including Corriganville and the Iverson Ranch.

ARIZONA LEGION has not had a DVD or VHS release. It's been shown on Turner Classic Movies.

February 2016 Update: ARIZONA LEGION is now available on DVD from the Warner Archive in the nine-film George O'Brien Western Collection. My review of the DVD is here.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older