For our January Western film night, Johnny D. Boggs (seven-time Spur Award-winning author) brought THE DALTON GIRLS (1957), part B-Western, part potboiler, and a real surprise.
The title girls are the daughters of members of the outlaw Dalton gang. Holly, the leader, feels tired of always being on the run, Rose is hard as bark, Columbine is sixteen and eager for love, and Marigold finds herself attracted to “Illinois” Grey, a smooth-talking gambler who sure is sweet on her. These women plan their stagecoach and bank robberies with skill and timing. But, while resourceful and thorough, something always seems to go a little bit wrong along the way, and those mishaps are both unexpected and engaging. Oh, and there’s a song Rose sings while the women sit around a campfire about how men will lie and cheat on you, but a gun never does.
Directed by Reginald Le Borg, probably best known for his horror films like THE MUMMY’S GHOST and CALLING DR. DEATH, and written by Maurice Tombragel, who wrote numerous screenplays for Western, horror and noir serials, there’s never a dull moment in THE DALTON GIRLS.
Also in attendance last night were Kirk Ellis, Emmy-winning screenwriter and producer of HBO’s JOHN ADAMS and TNT’s INTO THE WEST, David Morrell, New York Times best-selling author of FIRST BLOOD, and Robert Nott, award-winning journalist whose new book, THE FILMS OF BUDD BOETTICHER, was released in September.
Dalton Girls Preview
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