Bad Bascomb is an expensive MGM western, tailor-made for the blubbery talents of Wallace Beery. Beery plays the badman of the title, whose heart is softened by a sweet little child (Margaret O'Brien at her most cloying). Just about to make a clean getaway, Beery realizes that the child is in danger of being killed by marauding Indians. He rides back to warn the cavalry, which results in his arrest but saves the girl. Sentenced to be hanged, Beery tearfully sends O'Brien off to her foster parents, never letting the precocious little tot know that he's about to have his neck stretched. Bad Bascomb is at its best whenever Beery shamelessly pulls every trick in the book to steal scenes from the estimable Margaret O'Brien.
by Hal Erickson synopsis