The Texas Rangers

Fred MacMurray and Jean Parker in The Texas Rangers (King Vidor, 1936).

Starts out as a comic outlaw buddy movie and morphs into an adventure-melodrama about friends turned enemies. The buddies are MacMurray, Jack Oakie (the proto-Jack Black), and Lloyd Nolan (as Sam McGee, the "Polka Dot Bandit"). Exciting, well-filmed action sequences, and some surprisingly elegant frame compositions. The character actors are wonderful throughout (I guess almost everyone in it is a character actor), especially in the Kimball County sequence, which gathers Fred Kohler, Jr., Jed Prouty, George "Gabby" Hayes, Richard Carle, and Charles Middleton for an antic courtroom scene.

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