Angel and the Badman (James Edward Grant, 1947)

John Wayne and Gail Russell

John Wayne and Gail Russell

This is my contribution to the 1947 Blogathon being organised by Shadows and Satin and Speakeasy. Please take a look at the great range of postings.

A rider gallops through the Western countryside – but falls from his horse, hit by a bullet. He is seen by a pair of passing Quakers, who go to his aid, but he is reluctant to accept their help, wanting to press on with his quest even if it kills him. That’s the starting point for Angel and the Badman, an unusually romantic Western starring John Wayne and Gail Russell as a couple who come from completely different worlds.

Director James Edward Grant also wrote the script, so this was clearly a film which meant a lot to him. It has an atmosphere all of its own, almost taking place at two speeds, with some fast-moving Western segments, such as a bar-room brawl, and some slower and more gently unfolding scenes in the world of the Quakers’ farmhouse.

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Great Guy (1936)

First of all, I’m sorry not to have posted here for ages – my working life has been busy and I’ve let blogging slip as a result. I’ll try to do better!

GreatGuy2

James Cagney and Mae Clarke

James Cagney walked out on Warner Brothers in the mid-1930s partly because he was fed up with being typecast as a tough guy. So it comes as a surprise that his starring role in Great Guy  – the first of two movies he made with Grand National, a poverty row studio – seems such a typical role for him.

Typical at first glance, anyway. His character, Johnnie Cave (the hero of stories by James Edward Grant published in the Saturday Evening Post) is an ex-boxer, now fearlessly enforcing the law for New York’s Department of Weights and Measures. However, the very fact that he is working for such an unglamorous department suggests a certain distance between this character and the gangsters, G-Men and dashing pilots Cagney had played in his recent films.

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