El Paso (1949)

Genres - Action, Western  |   Sub-Genres - Traditional Western  |   Release Date - Aug 5, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

For years, independent producers William H. Pine and William C. Thomas, aka "The Dollar Bills," had been purveyors of cheaply-made action fare that benefited from a production agreement with major corporation Paramount Pictures. El Paso was billed as the team's first major release but, true to their nicknames, Pine and Thomas cut a few corners and produced the western in Cinecolor, a cheap system that offered an unrealistic warm yellow glow. Action-wise, El Paso remains a fast-paced and mostly satisfying western melodrama burdened a bit by a rather shaky performance from leading lady Gail Russell. Reportedly suffering from a near paralyzing stage fright, Russell was known to fortify herself with alcohol and she is visibly grasping hold of the scenery in places.