The Parson of Panamint (1941)

Genres - Action, Western  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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First filmed in 1916, Peter B. Kyne's novel Parson of Panamint provided an excellent showcase for Charles Ruggles in this 1941 remake. As he looks over the dusty, deserted remains of the western "boom town" of Panamint, grizzled old prospector Chuckawalla Bill Redfield (Ruggles) recalls the town's glory days. Looming large in Chuckawalla's reminiscences is the day that young and apparently mild-mannerd minister Philip Pharo (Phillip Terry) rode into town. In his own gentle but forceful fashion, Pharo managed to bring the town's lawless element into line, mollify the local bluenoses, and win the heart of likeable dance-hall girl Mary Mallory (Ellen Drew). The highlight of a film is a tense murder trial, brought about by the killing of gambling boss and all-around villain Bob Deming (Joseph Schildkraut). Almost as easy-going as its protagonist, Parson of Panamint is a most unusual western; if it doesn't completely come off, at least it deserves an E for Effort.

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Keywords

bad-guy, Bible, bishop, citizen, community, cowboy, criminal, flood, good-guy, mayor, mine, reform [improve], town