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"Dawn at Socorro"


Terrence1
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On the Enclore Westerns channel they have been showing "Dawn at Socorro", which I had not seen in many years. The story is presented from a different point of view. The story centers around a saloon girl (Piper Laurie), rather than the male lead. Usually the saloon girl is there to sing a song, or to provide love itnerest for the male lead. They actually go into how she came to work in a saloon, what her duties were, and how the other girls feel about working there. I cannot think of another Western that really deals with things from her point of view. Can anyone think of another movie where the saloon girl was the focal point?

 

Terrence.

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Thank you, Terrance. I just saw the trailer and have two shots at seeing it tomorrow. It looks interesting. I thought I'd caught all those U-I Westerns from the 50's; this is a new one for me.

 

I caught the last 40 minutes or so this morning and will definitely tune in tonight to see what I've missed. You're right about this situation rarely being addressed. I'm so-so about Rory Calhoun as an actor but in this one he's doing it right and it's fun watching Piper Laurie developing into the actress with those Oscar nominations.

 

I always thought I'd have wanted to work at Fox in the 40's and 50's with all those socially concious films Zanuck made but for a woman U-I might not have been so bad either-think Yvonne de Carlo. They made these 75-90 minute adventure films-Western, "sand & sword" and medieval-by the bucketful with most of them in color and with gorgeous costumes. Because they were so short a lot of action got packed into them and if sometimes less than original were never boring. What I saw of this one certainly wasn't.

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;) Okay, I saw the whole movie yesterday. Verrry interesting and well done.

 

You didn't say that the first part's a thinly disguised version of the OK Corral gunfight and that the "Brett Wade" character is Doc Holiday while his marshal friend is Wyatt Earp and the "Ferris family" the Clantons. When Harold Robbins did this in his books they called it "roman a clef"; this film's writers did it better.

 

I did find Rannah and Clare's stories about life as a saloon girl very well done. They brought out that it only lasted as long as they had looks which probably wasn't very long. While *Gunsmoke,* via Kitty and the Long Branch, tackled this over its 20 year run in most movies they are just in it because they need a female character.

 

As I said before I'm not that big a Rory Calhoun fan but he showed here he can act. His concern for Rannah and desire to help her find a better life was believably touching. Like the real Doc he survives the gunfight but that trip to Colorado is probably too little, too late. It's always fun have Edgar Buchanan on board and David Brian, as usual, was a great villain. Here he has no decency, barging into the girls' rooms at will with no respect for their privacy. Alex Nicol is another "yawn" actor for me but here as the hired gun he does all right.

 

This was well worth seeing. Thanks for the "heads up"!

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Wouldbestar, I'm glad that that you enjoyed this movie. When it was made, Universal probably thought of it as just another generic Western. But for some reason, I've always placed it above a good deal of the others. And you certainly provided me with a lot of details about the movie, details that I'll look for the next time I watch it. Thanks again.

 

Terrence.

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