Rancho Notorious (1952)

Fritz Lang directs Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy and Mel Ferrer in this western where a vengeful assayer looks for his wife’s killers, growing to believe they are being sheltered at a criminal hideout called Chuck-a-Luck.

Pretty standard and cheap revenge tale brightened by a couple of rousing shootouts and chases. Where it stands out is exploring the mythology of Dietrich’s showgirl matriarch and by extension the star herself. Her name keeps cropping up in Arthur (dull) Kennedy’s quest… and each time it does we get a joyful flashback to her escapades. Once we are in the secret ranch she owns at the midway point suddenly romance is ignited and everyone is playing against everyone like one of those Tarantino mock-whodunnits. There are random pleasures here even if all the overall form that ties it together is worn and ragged.


Perfect Double Bill: Destry Rides Again (1939)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/


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