The Renegade Ranger

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George O'Brien plays another undercover lawman in this Western, just like in Gun Law.  Here he is Texas Ranger Jack Steele sent to apprehend accused murderer Judith Alverez (Rita Hayworth).  Plenty of bar-fight and shootout action in this one.






Rita Hayworth











Familiar face: Tim Holt (whom I just saw in The Law West of Tombstone and who prospected along with Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) plays the actual Ranger who went renegade.

The Law West of Tombstone

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A rambling Western about liar/con-artist/sharpshooter "Bonanza Bill" Barker (Harry Carey).  First he tries to fleece a New York financier into investing in a bogus gold mine.  When he is handed his hat he decides that he is not skilled enough to operate in the big city, so he heads back to El Paso.  He quickly runs afoul of both the law and the not-to-be-trifled-with McQuinn family.  The McQuinns leave town swearing vengeance, and the Judge grants the chance of reprieve if Bill can use his talent with a gun to bring in the Tonto Kid, a local "most wanted".  Never one to let a crisis go to waste, Bill decides that he will go "where the railroad is headed" and armed with a law book and his silver tongue sets himself up as the mayor of fledgling railroad town Martinez, Arizona.  There are numerous complications: the Tonto Kid turns out to be an old pal of Bill's; Bill meets his estranged daughter who is unwittingly engaged to a member of the Kid's gang; the Brothers McQuinn hatch a scheme with some Indians to legally deprive the town of access to the river.

Familiar faces: Clarence Kolb as the New York business man; the Tonto Kid was played by Tim Holt, who prospected along with Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; not a familiar face, exactly, but Bill's daughter's ne'er-do-well fiancĂ© was played by Allan Lane, the voice of Mr. Ed.

Hold That Co-Ed

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Former All-American Rusty Stevens (George Murphy) has been hired as the new football coach for dilapidated State University.  He has barely arrived when he learns that Governor Gabby Harrigan (John Barrymore), who is running for U.S. Senate, has eliminated funding for the school's football team as a "balance the budget" campaign ploy.  Coach Rusty and the students march on the state capitol and cause a ruckus.  Harrigan's senate challenger, Major Breckenridge (George Barbier), plots a campaign volley around the incident, so Harrigan beats him to the punch by announcing that he will make State University the most well funded school in the country.  He strong-arms the legislature into passing the funding, including a football stadium that will hold 100,000 fans. Then, faced with the embarrassment of an empty stadium, he coerces out-of-state businesses with government contracts to pressure their states' most prestigious football teams to play State.  Now, faced with playing the best football teams in the country with a novice team, Harrigan's administration finds a way to put professional athletes on the state payroll and have them play as ringers on the State U team.  Somehow, after this seemingly endless stream of corruption and fraud, Harrigan is seen as a hero and wins the Senate seat because State wins the final game.

Joan Davis plays a female place kicker, so she is probably the titular co-ed.  Other familiar faces: Jack Haley, Marjorie Weaver, Donald Meek and Paul Hurst.

St. Martins Lane

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Veteran street performer Charles (Charles Laughton) takes petty thief Libby (Vivien Leigh) under his wing.  Together they create a new "turn" (routine)  for Charles's troop of "buskers" (street performers).  The "buskers" specialize in entertaining the crowds waiting to enter the legitimate "theatres" (theaters) of London's West End. Libby's talent is recognized by songwriter Prentiss (Rex Harrison) and her ambition causes her to leave lovelorn Charles in the lurch. She is successful while Charles descends into the gutter.  

St. Martins Lane
was released in London in 1938 but was released as Sidewalks of London in the U.S. in 1940.  According to Robert Osborne of TCM, the American distributor decided to wait until after Gone With the Wind was released to capitalize on Vivien Leigh's newfound fame.

The Challenge

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A dramatization of the true competition between an English team and an Italian team of "Alpinists" who race to be the first to climb the Matterhorn.  The English team, or actually the non-Italian team, since it had Swiss guides and a Scottsman, was first to the top.  Disaster struck on the descent, however, and four of their party were killed. 


Check out the kick-ass depiction of the disaster:
video


 
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