Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > The Lonesome Trail Double Feature (1955 with The Silver Star)

The Lonesome Trail Double Feature (1955 with The Silver Star)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Films: C+/C



Director Richard Bartlett and Producer/Actor Earle Lyon made three Westerns for Lippert Productions, with two of them now issued by VCI as The Lonesome Trail Double Feature.  Though unrelated except by genre, The Silver Star was also released in 1955 and prove to be two of the better B-Westerns of the era at a time when theaters and TV were glutted with them.


Lonesome Trail has a soldier coming home to fight a thieving land baron using a group with strong arm tactics to take anything and everything they want.  Johnny (John Agar) is that soldier with a singular sense of what is right.  Usually, the formula would dictate that he would be the best gun in the West and mayhem would ensue.  However, when his shooting hand is damaged, he takes up bow & arrow (read “Indian weapons”) and goes after the baron (Wayne Morris).  It is a great idea, but the film does not realize it all the way through in its screenplay co-written by Bartlett and Ian McDonald from Gordon Shirreeffs’ book Silent Reckoning.  Wonder if the book did?


The Silver Star also wants to twist the Western, making the High Noon scenario a priority where the Sheriff (Earle Lyon) has even more doubt than Gary Cooper.  Certainly not a film that would settle well with the makers of Rio Bravo, the film once again has its moments, but never seems to amount to all it could and a low budget is not the only reason.  Lon Chaney Jr. and Edgar Buchanan also star.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on both films were shot by Cinematographer Guy Roe in black & white and has fairly good Grey Scale and Video Black, if not spectacular.  Detail is again an issue, but it is watchable enough thanks to VCI’s restoration efforts.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is more strident and broken up than expected, down a few generations from whatever the original audio was.  Extras include Lyon commenting on each film, plus bios, stills and trivia for each film and bio/filmography on Lyon.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com