Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Lawless Street

A Lawless Street (1955) AKA Marshall of Medicine Bend
Dir: Joseph H. Lewis
Staring Randolph Scott, Angela Lansbury, Michael Pate

Randolph Scott stars in this film as Calem Ware, a Marshall of the town called Medicine Bend. He is a man that is constantly facing down threats from his past, as old foes keep returning to the town to settle things with him. But he gets shaken up when a former flame (Lansbury) returns to town.

This is a simple little film. Scott is the do hooded Marshall, and he keeps order in the town of Medicine Bend while dealing with threats from the past. Everything is going well for him until a traveling amusement show arrives in town, and the star of the show just happens to be his estranged wife, who's being wooed by one of his rivals in the town. There's also some shenanigans involving Calem standing in the way of reopening a nearby mins, which causes an old enemy played by Michael Pate to be brought in to eliminate the marshall.

It's kind of what you expect from a western of the fifties. Calling it average sounds like an insult, but I don't mean it to be. Not everything is made to be a groundbreaking piece of art, just to make something thats entertaining for an hour and a half.* And that's were this film succeeds. The actors do a good job, the film is competently shot and edited, and it has a good score. It's a movie that it great in its simplicity. Sometimes simple is better.

The thing that stands out the most is the age gap between Lansbury and Scott. It feels like there's 30 years between the two, and it kind of makes the romantic scenes between the two seem a bit awkward. Not as bad as the scenes between Roger Moore and Tanya Roberts in A View to a Kill, but odd. But Lansbury is good and they had decent chemistry together, so it kind of works.

Overall it's a fun little film. It's not a great classic like the Ranown films, but it's enjoyable.

*Well, more like 76 minutes, but you get what I'm saying.

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