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Desperados [Import]


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1 used from CDN$ 33.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes, Edgar Buchanan
  • Directors: Charles Vidor
  • Writers: Ben Jonson, Max Brand, Robert Carson
  • Producers: Harry Joe Brown
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: July 9 1996
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: 6304091974

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By George Rutherford on Sept. 4 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great Randolph Scott movie
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 26 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Not a "B" Western Aug. 8 2006
By Only-A-Child - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"The Desperadoes" (1943) is a genuine classic, not for its story (which is fairly routine), but for its technical production elements. This was a landmark western, the biggest ever at the time of its release and all the more unique because it was a Columbia production-a lightweight studio with a bottom feeding reputation. Only Fox's "Jessie James" (also starring Randolph Scott) from a few years earlier gave anywhere near this lavish a treatment to the genre. Although it would be eclipsed in a few years by "The Searchers" and "High Noon", "The Desperadoes" was a ground breaking effort and a historical treasure.

In 1863, the economy in the town of Red Valley, Utah is based on rounding up and selling wild horses to the Union Army. The script gets a little messed up here with references to the railroad (which was several years away in Utah's future) and Custer's Last Stand (Custer was busy fighting Stuart in Pennsylvania at the time) but these are not important plot elements.

Red Valley has an honest sheriff, Steve Upton (Scott), but the banker and several citizens are corrupt; robbing their own bank each time the government pays for a herd of horses. The town is visited by Cheyenne Rogers (Glenn Ford), a famous outlaw who is an old friend Steve's. He wants to go straight, especially after falling for the pretty livery stable owner Alison McLeod (Evelyn Keyes). Cheyenne's partner "Nitro" Rankin (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) is mainly there for comic relief as are Uncle Willie McLeod (Edgar Buchanan) and the town judge (Raymond Walburn who models his character on Frank Morgan's "Wizard of Oz" crystal ball faker).

Taking no chances with their huge budget Columbia packed this thing with tons of action and every western movie element but Indians and covered wagons. There is the best wild horse stampede ever filmed, a spectacular barroom brawl, an explosive climax, romance, and three-strip Technicolor. All this stuff doesn't necessarily fit together but who would have cared back in 1943. Unity is a problem as it tries to be both a serious action western and a comedy.

The cinematography was probably the best ever at the time of its filming. The indoor scenes are solid but it is the naturalistic outdoor photography that is truly impressive; both the lyrical static shots and the moving camera filming of the action sequences.

Scott and Claire Trevor were top billed, but the studio clearly wanted to promote Ford, who would soon be their biggest star. And Director Charles Vidor utilized the film to showcase his new wife Keyes (whose portrayal of Scarlett's sister in "Gone With the Wind" had connected with audiences more than any small part in the history of films).

The Ford-Keyes dynamic is "The Desperadoes" most unique and important feature. Rather than go for the cliché "love triangle" with Scott and/or Trevor (which it first appears will happen), the entire romantic focus is on the two younger actors. This was probably the best role Keyes ever got and she makes the most of it. Playing a tomboyish but extremely sexy young woman who looks great in both leather pants and dresses, and who rides and fights like Kiera Knightley's character in "Pirates of the Caribbean". This was revolutionary at the time and coincided with the 1942 formation of the WAAC for WWII military service.

"The Desperadoes" is one film that has been well taken care of and the print looks like it is brand new. Unfortunately there are no special features on the DVD.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Blockbuster from Columbia.... April 6 2000
By Boyd D. Cathey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
THE DESPERADOES was Columiba Pictures first technicolor production, and the studio spared no expense to make this a truly signal event. Randolph Scott, a young Glenn Ford, Claire Trevor, and Edgar Buchanan head a fabulous cast. THE DESPERADOES, in a sense, was Columbia's answer to Fox studio's JESSE JAMES, another epic western. The results are very enjoyable--the dialogue crisp, the action fast, and the acting well above average. And the technicolor print is superb; THE DESPERADOES is one of the best shot pics of its time. A classic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Third billed Glenn Ford gets the build-up treatment but Edgar Buchanan steals the show Aug. 11 2008
By C. O. DeRiemer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This oater is standard issue with a clever setup. It's 1863 in the small ranching community of Red Valley, Utah. Robbers bust into the Clanton Bank but find no money. They kill a couple of townsmen during their getaway. Then we find out -- this is no spoiler -- it was a clever plot engineered by the respectable Stanley Clanton (Porter Hall), the banker, and the well-liked Uncle Willie McLeod (Edgar Buchanan), the feed and livery owner. Clanton had taken the money first. The bank robbery was for show. Clanton then paid off the bank robbers with a substantial cut. He offers to help the bank's customers by paying 50 cents on each dollar stolen...using their own money. The two criminal scalawags keep $80,000 and they can remain in town as leading citizens, with Clanton a civic hero. However, they didn't count on Cheyenne Rogers (Glenn Ford), a gunslinger with a history they'd hired to lead the robbers in a no-shooting robbery, showing up late. Banker Clanton decided not to wait. That's why some really bad guys were used for the job. They also didn't count on Sheriff Steve Upton (Randolph Scott), being such a lawman of integrity. And they didn't count on Countess Maletta (Claire Trevor), who runs Red Valley's gambling house and fancy hotel, knowing Cheyenne's real story. And they didn't count on Cheyenne, when he does show up, wanting to stick around so he can get to know Uncle Willie's daughter, Allison (Evelyn Keyes), better and change his ways...or that Steve and Cheyenne have known each other for quite a while...or that....

Scott, Trevor and Buchanan keep it interesting. The Technicolor is rich and not too garish. There's lot's of scenery. The production values are first-class. There are gunfights, chases through canyons, a grand, smash-`em-up-fight in the saloon, a trial, a jail breakout and a first-class stampede of wild horses down Red Valley's main street. The drawbacks are a plot stuffed with clichés and some tiresome comedy from Raymond Walburn as a judge and Guinn Williams as Ford's sidekick. The most interesting part of the movie is seeing how Columbia made sure this vehicle served to groom Glenn Ford as the young actor they were placing their bets on for money-making stardom. Randolph Scott and Claire Trevor get top billing, but they wind up playing support for Ford.

Glenn Ford at 27 looks ten years younger, a kid who uses too much hair oil. Close your eyes, however, and listen to his voice. He knows what he's doing and he sounds authoritative well beyond how young he looks. After Gilda in 1946, made right after he was discharged, he starred in any number of Columbia movies. It wasn't until 1955, in my opinion, with Blackboard Jungle and Trial, followed by Ransom! and Jubal in 1956, that Ford finally made it to super stardom. At last his looks had aged to match his voice and skill at projecting manly integrity. The surprise is that he had such a flair for laid-back comedy, as in The Sheepman (Stranger with a Gun) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Australia ], and that when he chose to play a bad guy, as in 3:10 to Yuma (Special Edition), he was just as good.

On balance, The Desperadoes is a pleasant enough movie to rent, but perhaps not pleasant enough to buy. The DVD transfer looks just fine. There are no extras of any worth.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A GREAT TRIO: TREVOR, FORD AND SCOTT. Jan. 23 2008
By Kay's Husband - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
If anyone out there doesn't enjoy this western, then I'm fairly sure he or she really doesn't enjoy old westerns. Having grown up in the late 1940's and early 1950's, many Saturday mornings were spent at the local bijou, in my case The Sigma or Ranger theaters in Ohio, where most of the day was spent scrunched down in a seat riding the range with our western heroes.

This film doesn't really fit into that category, being released prior to WWII to a more exclusive audience, while also being the very first technicolor film Columbia Pictures released. The movie was made in the days when name actors did not make millions for each picture and each movie had several stars. As evident in this picture several such stars do appear: Glenn Ford, Claire Trevor, Randolph Scott, Edgar Buchanan, Evelyn Keyes, with the backup actors recognizable too, such a Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams.

The plot isn't too bad either, with it coming from the pen of Max Brand, a very popular selling western author of the time, who would himself soon die in combat during WWII.

This film, along with Yellow Sky shot several years later, have always been a couple of my favorites. Watch this film from 1943, year of my birth, and you too may become a fan of it also.

Recommended.

Semper Fi.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's a fun oater March 4 2011
By E. R. Christensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
These movies were made to entertain, not win Oscars. When one makes the prescient comment about Custer's Last Stand thirteen years prior to the fact, how seriously should it all be taken? But I'm watching this to be entertained, not for historical accuracy. Start with Randy Scott (sheriff), Glenn Ford (outlaw), add in Claire Trevor (madam), Edgar Buchanan, Big Boy Williams and a bunch of other well known faces if not names. Scarlet O'Hara's little sister (Evelyn Keyes)is great as Buchanan's daughter and the love interest. There's a great bar room brawl, a horse stampede through town, and plenty of comedy thrown in. Something I find very unusal for the the time, the moral code is a little more gray than the black hat/ white hat tradition. The plot is such that you wonder how they're going to make it all come out okay at the end, but they do. What's not to like?

Okay, here's what: it's a bare bones dvd. No commentary, no features except subtitles and sales pitches for other films. The quality of the color transfer is excellent. But, I'm really buying it for the movie and it's not costly. I'd buy it again, and I'll certainly watch it again.

August, 2012
I did buy it again, picked up another copy for $2 at a garage sale and watched it again as well. Watched it with my 92 year old father. I enjoyed it as much as the first time and my father didn't fall asleep once through the entire film. So many funny lines, especially enjoyed Claire Trevor and Edgar Buchanan...and then there's Big Boy Williams who adds plenty of humor as well. Still a five star movie in my book.


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