Thursday, December 13, 2012


Actually this was filmed in 1944 but copyrighted in 1948. Actually it never was copyrighted which means that any unscrupulous turd who wanted to show this at his moom pitcher house or on his tee-vee station could do so w/o fear of reprimand. Actually, who'd want to see this film inna first place unless you're nostalgic for seventies-vintage UHF television viewing of cheap public domain westerns that somehow reflect the lost sense of chungeredness you've experienced at three in the morning only to be jolted out of your half-awake stupor by roll-a-sage chair commercials and public service announcements for the Army and Peace Corps (I mean, what better way to get the recruits in than to run ads in the middle of the night when all of the speed freaks and crossroads of life post-highschoolers are lined up in front of the boob tube!).

Actually since I'm one fellow who found loads of comfort and joy (to use a current holiday cliche of some worth) spending hot summer nights in the early-eighties watching movies along these lines with that brainless sense of awe permeating my entire being. Either that or I was just too lazy to get up and change the channel. But I wouldn't be lying if I told you that I do find that the monotone acting, nada musical numbers and re-rehashed plots quite exhilarating. Not to mention the quick film cuts lopping off loads of important dialogue at the end of reels. Even I knew that during this particular time in history we were at the tail end of a grand period in television when the last of the originators of the form were handing over the reigns to the new generation we all knew were gonna ruin the entire media beyond repair. And it was movies such as this, cheap westerns which had filled up television schedules since the post-World War II days, that seemed to make up a good portion of the late-movie/off-time filler at least until the nineties gave way to informercials and unbridled scatology. Who among us can claim not to have spend a sticky summer night watching films like TROUBLE AT MELODY MESA glued to the set either in transfixed awe, or perhaps because your flesh adhered to the naugahide recliner and you couldn't get up in a million years even if you tried!

Standard plot with bad guys out to get beautiful gal's ranch and a hero marshal (played with typical Quindlanesque aplomb by Brad King) on the case of a suspicious death. Of course there's a kid in there for youth identification, a comedic cook who can throw his voice and of course loads of cornpone humor that might work well on the comic pages but misses by a mile here. And if you think I know who any of the names of the actors who worked on this 'un are or what other mooms they've been in you're mistaken! But man if this didn't bring back memories of the early-eighties when films like this could be seen with relative ease, a time which for me represents the final years of Golden Age filler tee-vee being presented here and for free right before the PC clamp down banished such "trash" in favor of stiflingly serious dramas and humor that seem to serve no one but the darkest side of man's soul which should remain repressed rather than flaunted for all to see here in the dismal, future-less teens.

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

where's "Channel America" when we need it (as Nixon used to say, "now more than ever") the way, the Wikipedia entry for Channel America makes no mention of its largely public domain content, just the original programming, which is a shame because it was the old PD 50's TV and pre-WWII PD feature films that made it special and worthwhile...