As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

Dodge City (1939)


It might as well be Wyatt Earp at times, just without the name. Curtiz’s film has a slow start, fumbles around and then gets really good and stays good about halfway through. His direction of action is as good here as it was in Robin Hood. And his sense of comedy is stronger than John Ford’s. Curtiz was a master of adventure, there’s no doubt about that, and this is an “adventure western”. Errol Flynn may feel less organic here than he does in an English period piece but his physicality in the action scenes makes up for it.

Lasting impression: Possibly the best and biggest bar brawl scene ever.