review for Colorado Territory on AllMovie

Colorado Territory (1949)
by Hans J. Wollstein review

Western movies certainly got very adult in the immediate post-World War II era and it should come as no surprise that a great many of them, including Colorado Territory, were remakes of earlier gangster films. In fact, in more recent years, the crime thriller has borrowed heavily from the old Westerns as well, the two most American of genres constantly cannibalizing each other. Colorado Territory, which was banned in West Germany as "an example of gangster films which glorify antisocial elements," is a top-notch example of the crossover Western, but for one single, if minor, flaw: the casting of blond Virginia Mayo as the hard-bitten heroine. Not that Mayo doesn't make her tough-as-nails "half-breed" interesting, but her makeup is singularly hard to accept. The result of a union between a Pueblo mother and Yankee father, Mayo's Colorado Carson is positively dipped in heavy brown pancake makeup of the kind the old-timers used to call "bole-Armenia." The effect is ludicrous beyond belief and slightly ruins what is otherwise a stirring, well-directed, and photographed effort with a slam-bang finish fully rivaling that of its predecessor, High Sierra.