Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Woman of the Town

This 1944 flick starts in 1919 with Bat Masterson (Albert Dekker) working for the New York Morning Telegraph. A western novelist named Percy Walton prances in wanting the gun Bat used to tame Dodge City for his collection. Bat says he’s doesn’t have it, then slips into flashback to show us why not. Bat shoots a couple of bad guys dead in the first few minutes, which is cool, but overall this is more of a love story than a shoot-‘em-up. Too bad.

History is jumbled, of course. Bat comes to Dodge seeking his first newspaper job and is immediately drafted as sheriff. Brief mention is made of him once being a buffalo hunter and of the fight at Adobe Wells, and he says Wyatt Earp taught him to shoot straight and slow. But the rest is a lot of nonsense about loving and being loved by Dora Hand, part-time dance hall singer and part time Mother Theresa. Bat’s antagonist is King Kelly, a rich Texan who wears the silliest shirts this side of Roy Rogers. The best part of the story, in which Bat puts 20 wild cowboys in the slammer, is told in a 60-second action montage.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

IRL, a souvenir hunter came to Bat Masterson's newspaper office and asked to buy Bat's revolver with which he had cleaned up Dodge City. Bat said that he would go home and bring it back. He then went to a pawn shop, bought a used Colt .45, carved some notches in the handle, and took it back to the office, where he sold it to the guy. He may have even pulled that prank more than once.

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