The Monogram Cowboy Collection, Volume 7 Warner Archive, $40.99

dvd-review-monogran-cowboy-number-7This B-Westerns set features nine movies with all transfers uniformly excellent.

In Lambert Hillyer’s Trigger Fingers, Johnny Mack Brown hunts down a pal’s hothead son, to clear the kid of murder. Stunt legend Eddie Parker has a small role. Brown goes after a Zorro-like bandit, with the help of Lois Lane herself, Noel Neill, in  Whistling Hills. The convoluted Brown vehicle Man from the Black Hills has imposters and double crosses galore. Denver Pyle is one of the baddies.

Jimmy Wakely steps in front of the camera, with the Riders of the Purple Sage singing along, in Saddle Serenade, perfect for horse opera completists. In the much better Across the Rio Grande, Wakely stars with a fun cast, including Myron Healey and Dub Taylor.

The collection rounds out with Whip Wilson vehicles, including veteran director Wallace Fox’s Gunslingers, with Andy Clyde supplying the comedy, and Silver Raiders. Before that film, Wilson starred in Arizona Territory, written by Gene Autry’s favorite writer, Adele Buffington. Next, Wilson mixes it up with Fuzzy Knight and a crooked town council in Lawless Cowboys, an unusual story of rigged rodeo competition. Monogram Pictures apparently upped the budget on this one, and it shows.

C. Courtney Joyner is a screenwriter and director with more than 25 produced movies to his credit. He is the author of The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors and Writers.


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