Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Overlooked Films: Ken Maynard in Between Fighting Men (1932)
I’ve been chugging through the movies on the 50-film collection The Way West and so far I've seen over a dozen of them. (I talked about a few of the films and posted the complete list of titles HERE.)
The movies in this set are mostly from the 30s, and feature a lot of guys I’d heard of - or seen on movie posters - but had never seen on screen. Some are better than expected, some worse, and at least one (to be discussed in a future post) is unbelievably bad.
Ken Maynard was one of the good surprises. He had the look, the personality and the screen presence it took to be a first-rate B-Western star. And Between Fighting Men was a good vehicle to show off those qualities.
The story here is familiar: Sheepmen are moving into cattle country, and the cattle guys are pissed. But it just so happens that the first sheepherder to arrive has a beautiful daughter. And the leading cattle rancher has a skirt-chasing son.
Ken is NOT the son. He’s the son’s best pal, and top hand at the ranch. One of the good things about this film is that Ken doesn’t need a goofy sidekick for comedy relief. Ken and the son provide that themselves, with their good-natured competition for the attention of females. The sheepherder’s daughter does cause friction between them, of course, but when the chips are down their friendship proves stronger than the rivalry.
Make no mistake, this is a B-Western cheapie, but it’s still mighty dang good entertainment.
Gallop on over to Sweet Freedom for more of today's Overlooked goodies.