Bad Lands Promo ImageFor our latest session of Western Night, Robert Nott brought BAD LANDS, a B Western from 1939.

It’s a variation of THE LOST PATROL, the best-known version being the 1934 film directed by John Ford, about a British Army patrol in WWI pinned down at a small oasis by unseen Arabs in the Arabian desert.

THE LOST PATROL lends itself easily to a Western setting. Set in the blistering Arizona desert, a posse chases an outlaw called Apache Jack who murdered a woman. At a rocky outcropping at the base of an imposing hill, Apache Jack and his band of renegade Apaches trap the posse. The good and bad in each man gets brought out: hate, greed, cowardice, courage, pettiness, decency and more as the Apaches begin picking them off one by one.

Now and then a bit of unintentional comedy shows up, like the unconscious cowboy flat on his back raising up a bit when the sheriff reaches down and pulls off his gun belt.

Among the actors are some familiar faces including Noah Beery Jr (RED RIVER and the tv series THE ROCKFORD FILES) and Paul Hurst (THE OX-BOW INCIDENT). There’s also Douglas Walton as a man who sees himself as a Jonah to the group. He was in the Ford film five years earlier.

Clarence Young Upson’s screenplay stays pretty close Ford’s telling, though the lackluster direction by Lew Landers is unfortunate.

With a running time of 70 minutes, BAD LANDS, shot in black and white, is available for free on youtube.

Along with Robert, award-winning journalist and author of several books on Western films, including THE FILMS OF RANDOLPH SCOTT and his most recent THE FILMS OF BUDD BOETTICHER, our group includes Johnny D. Boggs, record nine-time Spur Award-winning author and Owen Wister Award winner whose work includes his latest, THE COBBLER OF SPANISH FORT AND OTHER FRONTIER STORIES, Kirk Ellis, Emmy winning screenwriter and producer, and also author of the book RIDE LONESOME about the production, themes and historical relevance if that classic Western film, Kirk’s wife, Sheila, and David Morrell, award-winning author and New York Times best-selling author of FIRST BLOOD, the novel that introduced the character Rambo.

Watch “Bad Lands” Below:


Thomas Clagett Post Image - Western BG

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