Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Carson City Kid Review

The Carson City Kid
Dir. Joseph Kane
Staring Roy Rogers, Bob Steel, George "Gabby" Hayes, Pauline Moore

Roy Rogers is the Carson City Kid, who comes to town of Senora in order to find the man that is responsible for killing his brother. Once there he learns that the man is the in charge of the local saloon and gambling hall.

This film is a one of 8(!) films that Roy Rogers made that were released in 1940.  That's kind of amazing when you think about how surprising it is for an actor today to have maybe 2 movies come out in the same year. He is good as the lead, giving a decent performance. I really don't know if it could be considered a singing cowboy movie, as he only sings one song in the picture, with the other featured song being performed by Pauline Moore's character Joby Madison in the saloon scene that introduces her. The songs are intergrated fairly well, and don't feel too out of place. The film is pretty fun and lighthearted, but the biggest complaint that I could see someone having with the film is that the plot is simple and predicatable. I don't think that it necessarily a bad thing, first half goes by at a slow, leasurely pace, but the back half feels a bit rushed. The most interesting thing about the movie is that the Lee Jessup seems to know that the Carson City Kid is targeting him, but he doesn't try to take any action to prevent the Kid from accomplishing his task. It does make him seem a bit passive and ineffectual.

Really the best thing about the film is George "Gabby" Hayes as the sheriff. He gives the film a lot of it's best laughs, and he is the prefect example of great supporting role in a film. You enjoy all his scenes and want more of him. Bob Steele is good as the villian Lee Jessup/Morgan Reynolds, but the nature of the story doesn't give him too much to do other than stand around and look worried about what is going on. Pauline Moore has a pretty thankless role, basically just being there for the main hero and villian have a woman to be interested in and talk to a couple of times. She sings a song, goes on a dinner date, and causes the villian to be jealous of the hero.

The Carson City Kid is not a bad little film. This is a very fun way to spend an hour. It's a good little B-film from the time, and it's carried by a great supporting performance by Hayes. I'd recommend watching it for him alone, but the rest of the film isn't bad either. It's a good way to spend an hour.

Side note: It is pretty amusing that both Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes pull a Danza and play characters with their own names.

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