Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Along Came Jones (1945).

Along Came Jones(1945). Gary Copper, Lorettea Young, William Demarest and Dan Duryea. The movie was adapted by Nunnally Johnson, from the novel Useless Cowboy, by Alan Le May. Directed by Stuart Heisler.

When wounded during a stage robbery, masked bandit Monte Jarrad, drops a rifle engraved with his name. Having only the robber's name the sheriff of Payneville offers a $1,000 reward for his arrest.

When Melody Jones rides into town with the initials "MJ" carved into his saddle, the townsfolk of Payneville believe him to be Monte. Mild-mannered Melody enjoys the attention and begins to swagger like a gunslinger until Cherry De Longpre, warns Melody to ride out of town.

Melody takes her advice and after he leaves, she visits the barn where she is hiding out the wounded Monte. Melody, soon realizes that she has set him up as a decoy and returns to the ranch to confront her. That night, Cherry is shocked to find Melody in her bed and tells him that she wants to help Monte, her childhood friend.

Cherry comes up with a plan.. to send Melody to lure the posse away from the ranch while Monte heads South. But the Melody is in love with Cherry and decides to return to the ranch with plans of his own.

I thought this was a very entertaining western with a wonderful combination of suspense, action, romance and comedy. It also features an interesting cast, Loretta Young gives a wonderful performance as a woman torn between the bandit and the cowboy. Cooper gives one of his funniest performance.

Dan Duryea (January 23, 1907), was an actor of film, stage and television. He made his name on Broadway in the play, Dead End, followed by The Little Foxes. He moved to Hollywood in 1940 toperform in the film version in the same role.

He performed in similar roles as a weak characters in movies such as, The Pride of the Yankees. As his career progressed throughout the 1940s he started to perform as a bad guy in a number of film noirs: Scarlet Street, The Woman in the Window, Criss Cross, Black Angel and Too Late for Tears.

From the 1950s, Duryea was more often seen in Westerns, Winchester '73 (1950), Thunder Bay (1953), The Burglar (1957), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), and the primetime soap opera Peyton Place. He also appeared in one of the first Twilight Zone episodes in 1959 as a drunken former gunfighter in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday," written by Rod Serling. He also guest starred on, The Barbara Stanwyck Show. In 1963, Duryea appeared as Dr. Ben Lorrigan in the episode, "Why Am I Grown So Cold , on the show,The Eleventh Hour.


Ron Scheer said...

Great title, Useless Cowboy. I'll have to look for it. I liked the clips from this film in the Gary Cooper vid at youtube you linked to. I've not seen this film, but it sounds like it would be enjoyable. A cowboy named Melody? Has to be good.

I've seen Dan Duryea in CRISS CROSS recently. Another entertaining crime film, with Burt Lancaster.

Dawn said...

Ron, Thank you for the movie suggestion, CRISS CROSS.