Thursday, February 10, 2011


Dallas(1950). Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Payton and Raymond Massey.

Gary Cooper, pretends to be a U.S. Marshal dressed in a fancy coat and hat to track down the bad guys who burned down his Georgia plantation and killed his wife and son. Turning him into a  man with a price on his head.

The film begins with the Marlow boys rustling cattle from rancher Don Felipe. Marlow doesn't understand how stealing cattle will help his older brother, get the money back that he has loaned Don Felipe. "I don't buy mortgages to get paid back. I buy them to foreclose." Will Marlow tells his brothers, Bryant and Cullen.

Don Felipe, accuses Will and his brothers of rustling his cattle. Will, is shocked by Don Felipe's, accusations.  Luis sees through Will's double-talk. Bryant and Cullen hide out close by and Cullen shoots Luis in the thigh against Will's orders. Don Felipe, warns Will that his lawless day are numbered because a U.S. Marshal is on his way.

Martin Weatherby,  the new marshal, is hopelessly out of place in the West, dressed as a dandy. Weatherby finds himself caught in the middle of a shoot-out between Blayde Holliste and the famous Wild Bill Hickox that leaves Blayde in the dust. As we find out later, Blayde and Wild Bill staged the duel so that Blayde doesn't have to worry about bounty hunters. Blayde accompanies Weatherby to Dallas, but he swaps clothes with him so he can pretend to be him. No sooner than he rides into Dallas, Blayde blows holes in Cullen and takes up with, Tonia Robles, who doesn't quite understand what is going on.

Martin receives a pardon, but he slow to give it to Blayde since he is stealing his girl away from him. Blayde's real identity slips out when a former member of his Georgia regiment comes to Dallas. Marlow take off on horseback to Forth Worth and Blayde is not far behind. Marlow reaches Forth Worth first and convinces the authorities to arrest Blayde. Blayde starts fire to get out of jail and chase Marlow. Will Blayde ever get his revenge on Will Marlow ?

Cooper seems to be having fun impersonating Martin Weatherby and making a fool out of the Marlows. One of my favorite scene is when Copper uses the bad guys horse to lead him to their secret hideout.

Raymond Massey (August 30, 1896 – July 29, 1983). His first movie role was in, High Treason(1927).  He played Sherlock Holmes in, The Speckled Band(1931), the first sound film version of the story. He went on to perform in the film, The Scarlet Pimpernel(1934) and, he also starred in, Things to Come(1936). Despite being Canadian, Massey became famous for his American roles such as John Brown in, Santa Fe Trail(1940) and again as John Brown in the film, Seven Angry Men.(1955).

He received great reviews on Broadway in Robert E. Sherwood's play, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and repeated his role in the 1940 film version (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor). Massey again portrayed Lincoln in the 1956 production of, The Day Lincoln Was Shot on Ford Star Jubilee and in the film, How the West Was Won (1962).

 Massey starred in, The Doctor's Dilemma(1941), opposite Katharine Cornell, opening just one week before Pearl Harbor. During the war, he teamed up with Cornell and other leading actors in a revival of Shaw's Candida to benefit the Army Emergency Fund and the Navy Relief Society.

Massey portrayed the character of "Jonathan Brewster" in the film version of, Arsenic and Old Lace. The character had originally been played by Boris Karloff for the stage version and the character was written to resemble Karloff (an ongoing joke in the play and film). Massey and Karloff, performed together in the suspense film, The Old Dark House(1932).

He rejoined the Canadian Army for World War II, though he would eventually be released from service and return to acting work.

Following the war, he became an American citizen. His most memorable film roles include: Possessed(1947) and The Fountainhead(1949), opposite Gary Cooper.

Massey became well-known on television in the 1950s and 1960s, especially as Doctor Gillespie in the popular series Dr. Kildare. He and his son, Daniel, were cast as father and son in, The Queen's Guards(1961). Massey played a Canadian on screen only once in, 49th Parallel (1941).

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