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”.

The Renegade Ranger (1938)

01_1938 Renegade Ranger_OS

The first I’ve seen in the series of Tim Holt’s B-movie westerns that Warner Archive has collected into four box sets. This one Holt doesn’t take the lead in as he plays support to George O’Brien however it’s Holt who stole my attention even away from the gorgeous Rita Hayworth. Everyone and everything else in the picture plays well but by the rules whereas Holt, like his character, seems just about to break loose and do something unpredictable. I liked the intensity in his eyes, even if they belong at this point on a boyish face.

Lasting impression: the long attention paid to the scene where the Mexican woman dancing. The film has an almost breakneck speed but takes a surprising and graceful pause for this moment.