Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews. I have now launched a podcast about the making of Westerns and the overall filmmaking process. Click here to listen.
Week 142: West of the Pecos
There are plenty of Westerns that I find to be mediocre but there are very few I dislike. This early Mitchum Western is unfortunately in that group.
A lightweight adventure, West of the Pecos did not work for this viewer at all. I think enjoying the movie hinges on your ability to accept Barbara Hale’s male disguise. I found it to be ridiculous and not passable at all, especially considering that her voice and feminine characteristics stand out like a sore thumb. However, the male protagonists who we are supposed to respect seem oblivious. How can I root for heroes who have no basic sense? With this silly set up, the lead should have been Groucho Marx, not Mitchum.
None of it feels real and for this filmmaker, that’s a problem. Even fantasies should feel real within the confines of the world they exist. I’ll give you another example: when Hale ditches her husband-to-be for Mitchum, there’s absolutely no fuss over it. The groom barely reacts! These are just cartoon characters and poorly drawn ones.
Watched on Tubi.