Reckless Ranger (1937)

Genres - Action, Western  |   Run Time - 56 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

Silent screen actress Mary MacLaren, as Robert Allen's bereaved sister-in-law, and young Tex Palmer, as his sidekick, busy themselves performing household chores in one long, tedious scene that leads absolutely nowhere. Later in the film, a group of people spend an inordinate time greeting each other ("How are you, Mary? Good to see you, Chet.") while Bert Longenecker's static camera passively records the tedium. Surprisingly, this minor piece of cinematic inertia, which includes perhaps Western movie history's most phlegmatic lynching, was directed by one of the icons of the fast-paced serial genre, Spencer Gordon Bennet. Poor Mr. Bennet has very little to work with this time around, however. The acting is mostly non-existent. Someone obviously noticed Tex Palmer's lack of thespian qualities; he simply disappears after drying Miss MacLaren's dishes. Screenwriter Nate Gatzert completely fails to add life to Joseph Levering's and J.A. Duffy's all-too-familiar tale.