The Cowboy Star (1936)

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

In the mid to late '30s, there was a brief vogue of B-Westerns dealing with the making of B-Westerns, a series of films that included Buck Jones' Hollywood Roundup (1938) and Gene Autry's The Big Show (1937) and Shooting High (1940). The first and in many ways most entertaining is the plainly titled The Cowboy Star. It's doubtful that low-budget series Westerns were ever made in as posh surroundings as depicted here, however, what with Charles Starrett being pampered by a Japanese valet (Wilfred Hari, who has stereotypical problems with his "l's"), but it is fun to see veteran B-Western players Lew Meehan and Merrill McCormick playing what they were in real life: B-Western bit players. Ironically, the Arizona that the homesick movie cowboy returns to is not terrorized by the likes of Meehan and McCormick this time around, but by city gangsters such as Marc Lawrence and Ralph McCullough, both of whom offer standout performances. Charles Starrett and frequent leading lady Iris Meredith, meanwhile, behave as they always do.