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20 Mule Team (1940)


cigarjoe
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20 Mule Team (1940) Director: Richard Thorpe with Stars: Wallace Beery, Leo Carrillo, Marjorie Rambeau, Douglas Fowley, Noah Beery Jr., Berton Churchill, Arthur Hohl, Clem Bevans.

 

A, surprisingly great little gem of a Western, the humorous back and  forth between Skinner Bill (Beery) and Paiute Pete (Carrillo) is picaresque and priceless, and you get great phenomenal Death Valley locations as a constant visual treat.. The story is centered around the Borax mining industry and in particular the muleskinner/teamsters that hauled the deposits across Death Valley.

 

Beery is not doing his by now all too familiar Champ/Kid shtick which was magical in The Champ(1931) Treasure Island (1934) and Bad Bascomb (1946), it's more in line with his portrayal as Poncho Villa in Viva Villa (1934), all his interactions are with adult  cast members and the lid is off, it's a hoot.

 

This was my first time viewing, thanks TCM, needs a DVD release or better yet a Berry Western box set  8/10.

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I happen to be a hardcore researcher of the 20 Mule Team and their rail terminus of Daggett, California, and I've heard a lot of good things about this movie and always wanted to see it for myself, but unfortunately nobody has it anywhere on VHS or DVD.

 

When will the next time be when this movie will air again on TV, or is it possible to ask if they could air it again sometime within later in the year?

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