The Streets of Laredo (1948)

Genres - Western  |   Run Time - 20 min.  |  
  • AllMovie Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Definitely not to be confused with the 1949 Paramount release starring William Holden or the Larry McMurtry 1995 television mini-series, this 20 minute unfinished "western" marked the first helpless Hollywood effort of legendary bad filmmaker Edward J. Wood, Jr. Together with a friend, 18-year-old John Crawford Thomas, the 23-year-old Wood produced his little epic in 16 mm on a one-day shooting schedule at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, California, apparently blowing Thomas' inheritance in the process. A few other scenes were filmed several weeks later in Griffith Park, but then Wood ran out of funds or acquaintances with ready cash (a recurring problem for the young auteur). The footage was shelved and basically forgotten until its reemergence in the 1998 documentary The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr. Based on the Western ballad, Streets of Laredo (or Crossroads of Laredo, as it is also known) starred Duke Moore, an amateur actor who would later be immortalized portraying the hapless Lieutenant Harper in Wood's masterpiece, the unforgettable Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956). Wood himself appears as a villain, proving beyond any doubt that he never before rode a horse, and there is a girl (Ruth McCabe), a parson, and a bartender. The footage flies by in a speed comparable to the old Keystone comedies and is eminently worthy of the notorious Wood. Both the Iverson Ranch and the nearby Spahn spread had become used to pedestrian filmmaking by 1948, having played host to such pedestrian outfits as PRC and Monogram for years.