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Dakota Lil (1950)


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Dakota Lil Poster

I'm gonna admit straight off the top that I like Marie Windsor. So basically when I saw this available to stream I gave t a whirl. 

Wow. Not expecting much I was impressed.

 Forget George Montgomery, Rod Cameron, John Emery, and Wallace Ford, this is not so much a Western as a showcase vehicle for Marie Windsor.  (forget how that poster looks)

Windsor plays title character Dakota Lil, a chanteuse saloon singer, con woman, forger, who sells her "services" circa 1897 to various underworld organizations including The Wild Bunch. The bunch led by Harvey Logan aka Kid Curry (Cameron), want her to forge a signature on unsigned treasury bank notes. They are worthless without it. She's not only a forger but also an engraver, taught by her father who was an employee of the US government printing office. She runs around with her talented piano player Vincent (Emery). Vincent is devoted to her like a puppy dog, and she strings him along  
in a sexually benign, depreciating, and teasing manner, but she needs him because he's also the expert printer of her forged engravings.

Into the picture comes Tom Horn (George Montgomery), (fresh off Geronimo's surrender) who's noted for "always finishing the job" (possible quote used in GBU) is pressed into service as an undercover US government agent to try and recover the lost treasury bills. 

All the above is secondary to Windsor, who is fantastic in all her saloon entertainer sequences. She's actually more alluring in similar turns than say Marilyn Monroe in both The River of No Return and Bus Stop and it sounds as if Windsor really doing the singing. Her signature song is a very catchy piece, that is sung twice. Windsor is gorgeous in this. It's got to be her apex film. 

Another plus (to me) is that the film belongs to the Noir Western sub genre and fits in with Pursued, Blood on the Moon, and Track of the Cat visually.

I saw the Cinecolor version. 7/10

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