Saturday, July 11, 2015

Riding Speed, B western

Finally! I saw a B western I liked. It's a B western the way I always envisioned B westerns. Very primitive. Produced by the father of Al Adamson. Called Riding Speed, starring Buffalo Bill, Jr, (no relation to Buffalo Bill Cody). Available on Fandor.

I didn't like Buffalo Bill, Jr's, ridiculous cowboy outfit. But the scenes were very short. There was little attempt at acting. The gunshots had an odd sound to them which made them seem more realistic. It had a lurid subplot. One of the smugglers starts making out with the other smuggler's wife. There are a couple of rather cruel murders which come off worse than most B western murders.

The editing is crude at times. The scenes are short, but they still cut to close-ups, as if the actors couldn't pull off a brief exchange of dialog in one shot.

The desert looks pretty good. Oddly, they seem to be smuggling Chinese into the country from Mexico, and they keep referring to the Chinese using the same racial slur.

It was one of those movies apparently set in the present day---there was a single car in it---but in every other way it was like 1870.

Had better theme music than most B westerns. As in most of them, there was no non-diegetic music.

I liked it a little better than Luc Moullet's A Girl is a Gun, starring Jean-Pierre Leaud as Billy the Kid. Moullet filmed in the mountains of France so he had a more interesting or at least unusual landscape. He saved money by hardly having any horses in it, and he avoided risk of injury by having the actors walk their horse---nobody tried to ride one---which is fine with me. I never understood the appeal of riding a horse. The costumes were better. There were no cartoonish cowboy outfits. The actress has a shirtless scene in a bra which I assume didn't exist in the old west.

I read someone say that Jean-Pierre Leaud, a city boy, looked out of place in a western. But this was good. Jean-Pierre was born in Paris---Billy the Kid was born in Manhattan. I also heard that the young fellow was high on drugs during production.

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