Angel and the Badman
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(Apr 03, 2008)
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Quite possibly the most unique and "high-brow" Western that John Wayne ever starred in, this was also the first one he made in the role of producer, after the studio set him up with his own production company. When Wayne's character, Quirt Evans, is wounded outside the home of a Quaker family, he is taken in and nursed back to health, with particular attention paid to him by their sheltered yet attractive daughter. Evans is enticed by the family's pacifist ways, but his outlaw past soon catches up with him. Great performances by Wayne and Gail Russel, as well as Harry Carey, Bruce Cabot and Paul Hurst.
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Written and directed with sensitivity by James Edward Grant, ANGEL AND THE BADMAN has an unusual mix of gentleness and exciting action, set against the magnificent backdrop of Sedona, Arizona. Wayne and Russell have a wonderful onscreen chemistry between them, and project a simple, genuine honesty in their romantic scenes. Veteran character actor Harry Carey plays the sheriff hot on Wayne's trail who's determined to bring him in, and movie bad guy Bruce Cabot is good as the card cheat who killed Wayne's stepfather.
A staple in the public domain circuit, ANGEL AND THE BADMAN has been available for years on VHS and DVD in sub-standard quality transfers that were either dark and murky or soft and faded. Finally, the beauty of this film can be properly appreciated in Olive Films' new Blu-ray release that does full justice to Archie J. Stout's crisp black and white cinematography. The soundtrack, while clear, has slight fluttering in a few scenes, but it's not distracting. The disc has chapter stops, and there are no extra features. This pristine HD re-master of ANGEL AND THE BADMAN is required viewing for any John Wayne and western fan.
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