Movie Review: Bad Man of Deadwood (1941)

Synopsis: After changing his name to Bill Brady, a former gunslinger now performs with a traveling medicine show. When he and his companions are chased out of Deadwood, a small town run by corrupt businessmen, Brady offers to help a gang of exiled citizens. Things become more complicated when his friend, Professor Gabby Blackstone, is robbed of an inheritence and the only way to find proof of who did it is by burglarizing the bank and robbing a stage coach.

Who's in it? The movie stars Roy Rogers, George "Gabby" Hayes, Carol Adams, Sally Payne and Henry Brandon.

Review: My wife and youngest daughter were at a Halloween party yesterday and didn't get home until late evening. While waiting for them, I decided to find a movie to watch and, since it had been a while since I saw a Roy Rogers movie, I picked this one out. Overall, I thought it was a good choice.

There were a couple things about this movie I found I enjoyed. One of the main ones is the film managed to stagger the action scenes just enough to keep the movie interesting from start to finish. I've seen plenty of other movies from this genre (and other genres) that save the action until the very end and wind up being kind of dull as a result. This film didn't allow that to happen.

Another thing I liked about the movie was the fact the bad guys weren't as easy to spot as in other films. OK, that's not totally true, some of the bad guys were pretty obvious. However, there were a couple nice twists, including about who was REALLY calling the shots, that made the film a little less predictable than I thought it would be.

I did think the movie lost a little steam toward the end, mostly because, for being considered criminals, Brady (Rogers) and his friends got plenty of time to get away and regroup as the posse took it's sweet time getting ready to chase them. In fact, I feel like the bad guys might have made it a little too easy for him at times (especially when they rob a well-protected stage coach without a single shot being fired). 

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I wanted him to lose. I just would have liked to see him have a bit more of a challenge at the end. Fortunately, the overall movie does make up for the somewhat weak ending.

Final Opinion: I don't watch a lot of classic westerns but occasionally find one I enjoy enough to make me want to watch more. This is one of those movies.

My Grade: B


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