Law and Order (1953) DVD Feb 28, 2010 18:58:53 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Feb 28, 2010 18:58:53 GMT -5
Law and Order is a solid, entertaining western that showcases Ronald Reagan as a leading man. Reagan gives an almost John Wayne-esque performance (you could almost call him John Wayne Light in this one). He is tough, but very likeable in the role and shows the charisma that would help him in his political life just a decade later.
As for the supporting cast, they are fairly good for the most part (although usually reliable Russell Johnson really hams it up at the end, giving a rather sub-par performance), even if some of the characters are not as well developed as they should be. Dorothy Malone is good in an underwritten part, and Preston Foster is his usual dastardly self as the villain of the movie.
The story itself is something of a re-working of the Earps VS the Clantons, and it even starts in Tombstone. Reagan is Frame Johnson, tough, no-nonsense Marshall of Tombstone. He decides to retire to a nearby town to start a ranch and marry his girl, but he finds the town run by another rancher and soon Frame and his brothers are in conflict with that rancher and his family. There is plenty of good western action, and a solid story (even if it doesn't contain any real surprises) in Law and Order.
The direction by Nathan Juran is, again, solid but nothing to write home about. It's the kind of productionline movie that Hollywood seemed to effortlessly pump out in the 50's. Good, entertaining, and fairly well crafted - but nothing artistically challenging or superior, either. It's a half step above the "B" Westerns of the late 40's or early 50's, but not quite as good as most of the "A" Westerns of that era.
The DVD is much like the movie itself - solid, but unspectacular. Good picture and sound quality is what you'll find when you watch the DVD, but it is occasionally soft, with some slight contrast flickering here and there (nothing particularly bad, though).