Gentle Annie(1944)

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Gentle_Annie-330652499-largeGENTLE ANNIE was based on a novel by MacKinlay Kantor, a writer of some repute. Thirty novels, most set during the Civil War, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1956 for his 1955 novel Andersonville. Never read the novel and the cover image below is really at odds with the character in the film.

Gentle Annie Goss is played by Marjorie Main(old Ma Kettle herself) and she lives on a farm they call the dust bowl with her two sons Cottonwood and Violet. Cotton is played by Harry Morgan, then billed as Henry, and Paul Langton as the wrongly named Violet. The farm is in Oklahoma and the time is 1901. Annie wants to return home to Missouri and to that end the boys are trying to raise money to buy their home back for her.

Somewhat amateurishly, they hold up a train and actually destroy most of the money when they use too much explosive blowing the strong box.

The Goss boys are suspected by the local sheriff, Tatum(Barton MacLane), butdownload without any proof, he can only keep an eye on them. Just a small step above the criminals of the area himself, he has somewhat of a bad reputation among the town as a lazy lawman, if not outright shady.

James Craig is lawman Lloyd Richland (aka Rich Williams), who comes into town disguised as a hobo riding the rails and is immediately jumped by the sheriff. When he gives Richland a hard time, the Goss brothers stick up for him.

Nosing around, Rich Williams learns of suspicion against the Goss brothers, though one drunk admits the third robber was a pigtailed “Injun” and the Goss boys had never been known to associate with them. “So they might be innocent.”

8131QucpGALDonna Reed is Mary Lingen, a stranded woman working as a waitress trying to raise money for a ticket to St. Louis. The Goss boys, especially Violet, flirt with her and she rejects them politely. Sheriff Tatum takes rejection less good humorously than Violet and the two men get into a savage fight. About to shoot Violet, Richland jumps in and earns the enmity of Tatum. Tatum had shot the senior Goss in the back years before during a confrontation.

Richland likes the Gosses and Nary, all four allied now. Mary has quit her job and is living at the Goss farm, warmly welcomed by her. Tatum and his deputy are sneaking around, firing at the brothers, then fleeing. The Marshal is torn, liking the Goss family and falling for Mary, but evidence is slowly turning up the brothers were responsible for the train robbery.

It all comes to a head when the Gosses and Tatum go up against each other.

I liked this one.

New In The House

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1: Devils And Dust – J. D. Rhoades: Already read and reviewed.

2: Bitter Water Blues(ebook) – Patrick Shawn Bagley: Joe wanted to leave is life as a hired killer behind him. Wanda was a cop who didn’t know what she wanted. Hag just wanted to kill people. A lot of people. Their paths collide in a small Maine town.

3: Li’l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos(ebook) – Angela Crider Neary: Someone is stealing the parrots of Telegraph Hill! San Francisco is plagued with a rash of exotic birdnappings, and it’s up to Li’l Tom and Lola of the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau to track down the culprits and put an end to this sinister scheme. With the help of a motley crew of cats, one rat, and a dog, they’ll venture into the dangerous back alleys of Chinatown to rescue the brilliantly plumaged captives!

February 2015 Book Round-Up

28: WE: Crow Creek Crossing – Charles G. West

29: CH: Stories For Children 4(ebook) – Francois Bissonette

30: WE: The Family Jensen: Massacre Canyon – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

31: Ch: Stories For Children 5(ebook) – Francois Bissonette

32: HR: Dark Hunger (Cade Crowley, Demon Hunter Series #2)(ebook) – Kevin Kneupper

33: WE: Blind Justice at Wedlock – Ross Morton

34: SF: The Dead World: A Pellucidar novelette(ebook) – F. Paul Wilson

35: CH: Oliver and Jumpy, Stories 7-9(ebook) – Werner Stejskal

36: TH: Hope to Die (Alex Cross) – James Patterson

37: WE: Lone Star Fury(Ranger Jim Hatfield)(ebook) – James Reasoner

38: TH: Full Tilt – Rick Mofina

39: Hu: Bucky Of Belgravia – Alden Douglas

40: PH: Chinese Turkestan: A Photographic Journey Through an Ancient Civilization – Ryan Pyle

41: CH: GIRAFFES: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature(ebook) – Emma Child

42: CH: Please, Mr. Panda – Steve Antony

43: MY: Trusting Viktor (A Cleo Cooper Mystery) – Lee Mims

44: CH: LIONS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature(ebook) – Emma Child

45: MY: Plunge (Las Vegas Mystery Book 7)(ebook) – Rex Kusler

46: FT: 10(ebook) – Martin B. Flores

47: CH: SHARKS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature(ebook) – Emma Child

48: TH: The Society of Orion Book Three: Deception: Colton Banyon Mysteries(ebook) – Gerald J. Kubicki & Kristopher Kubicki

49: CH: Yummy Stories: six stories to stimulate your mind and appetite (Read aloud; Volume: 1) – Lil L. Alexander

50: TH: Devils And Dust: A Jack Keller Novel – J. D. Rhoades

51: MY: Snow Adrift (Las Vegas Mystery Book 4)(ebook) – Rex Kusler

I Am Sartana Your Angel of Death ( Sono Sartana, Il Vostro Becchino) (1969)

images (2)Sometimes known as SARTANA THE GRAVEDIGGER, this film, second in the series, has Gianni Garko, billed as John Garko for the American release, finds our hero framed for the bank robbery of an impenetrable bank. Bounty hunters were hired as guards and one dressed in the distinctive style of the most famous bounty hunter of them all engineers the theft, leaving him holding the bag.

A reward is put on Sartana’s head.

Bounty hunters Hot Dead(Klaus Kinski) and Deguejo(Gordon Mitchell) take up the hunt.

Soon the real Sartana, alarmed at what’s going on, starts looking into it. Heimages (1) has an assistant, Buddy Ben(spaghetti vet Frank Wolff), that serves as his Watson in this detective tale. The trail leads the pair to Poker Flats where the game is wide open and crime running wild.

Sartana is less spectral here, more of a straight forward western character. The directing reins were taken over by Giuliano Carnimeo(billed as Anthony Ascott) after some fall out between the first film’s sono_sartana_il_vostro_becchino_john_garko_gianni_garko_giuliano_carnimeo_003_jpg_kmbsdirector, Gianfranco Parolini, and some of the production people. Fans were divided on the turn of the series with this film and it’s moody, episodic framing. It retained the violence and atmosphere of the first, but giving it a burlesque air in the Las Vegas style Poker Flats.

I liked it.

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Devils And Dust – J. D. Rhoades

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22542597Not an old book but bounty hunter Jack Keller is back after a long absence, the first new book since 2007, and a welcome return it is. DEVILS AND DUST finds Keller living off the grid after the events of the third novel, a quiet life in the desert, a new lady in his life, and no bounty hunting. Still with demons haunting his sleep.

But he’s been found.

His old boss and friend Angela has tracked him down looking for help. Her husband, Oscar Sanchez, and Keller’s best friend, has disappeared. He was looking into his two son’s disappearance on their way up from Mexico.

Keller is a hunter and Angela is confident he can find Oscar and the boys. Keller owes him and immediately agrees. Oscar, a simple teacher, had once saved Keller’s life at considerable risk to his own.

The trail will take him from a corrupt Mexican border town to a prison camp in the swamps of South Carolina, placing him against the worst in humankind, human traffickers, drug lords, and slavers, those that use religion to justify their excesses.

Terrific new novel by Mr. Rhoades in that genre defined by some as redneck noir.

Apache Trail(1942)

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63826From 1942, APACHE TRAIL stars Lloyd Nolan and William Lundigan as brothers “Trigger Bill” and Tom Folliard, two men on opposite sides of the law. Trigger Bill takes after their father, always out for the easy score, and Tom is more like their mother, easy going, basically honest. The film is based on a short story, Stage Station by Ernest Haycox.

Trigger Bill’s attempts to toughen his brother up results in Tom spending three months in jail after he’s bullied into a stage robbery attempt. He doesn’t flee like his brother and the others when the law jumps them. He’s finally released after three months in jail by a circuit judge that never even gets out of the stage, citing “consorting with known criminals” as the charge.

Tom can’t get his old job as shotgun guard back, but the Wells Fargo mandownload (1) believes in Tom and offers him a job as station master right in the middle of Apache territory. It’s about to be closed down because of the danger and finding someone willing to run it. Tom knows everyone from his former job and all finally agree to stay on.

Donna Reed plays Rosalie Martinez, the “almost eighteen” daughter of the station’s cook, who’s always had a thing for Tom.

A stage, with a strong box of money and passengers, pulls in shortly, just ahead of an Apache war party, soon followed by a cavalry officer. Someone has stirred the Apache up. and not too much later, Trigger Bill shows up. Tom is immediately suspicious, with that strong box of money on hand. He takes his brother’s guns, not willing to send him back out.

imagesThe next morning an arrow is shot into the stage and Tom decides to sneak out and do some scouting. The strong box is locked up and he tells his men to keep an eye on Trigger Bill. The cavalry officer leaves as well, heading to a nearby fort with plans to send help. Tom spots an Apache party with a white prisoner who he frees with a bit of guile. On the way back, he hears a tale of a white man, adopted into the tribe, then slaughtering a number of Apache and taking a peace pipe. Geronimo and his people are looking for him. Getting back to the station, he’s just in time to catch Trigger Bill trying to flee with the strong box and one of the women. In the gunfight, Tom outdraws brother, putting a bullet through each hand.

They find the peace pipe on him and learn the truth.

Then they settle in for a long battle with the Apache. After a lull, one Apachelf approaches and tells them they want the “white Apache.” No more deaths are necessary. It comes down to a vote, using domino tiles, white dots up to save him, black side up to send Trigger Bill out of the walled station. The deciding vote comes down to Tom and Trigger Bill calls him a fool for voting save. “I’d have sent you out there to save my skin!”

We learn different though, with both men showing a brotherly love that neither probably would have believed even just a few days before. Interesting film. I enjoyed Nolan in the Mike Shayne movies from that same period. I’d never seen him in anything from his younger years, always playing character roles in films I had seen previously.

A number of those faces one sees in movies without knowing names pepper the rest of the cast. The only one I could name was Chill Wills.

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