Trail Street (1947)
A routine western that sees Randolph Scott‘s Bat Masterson a legendary role that has been played by numerous actors of the years. This time comes straight from Dodge City to clean up the town of Liberal in Kansas for Trail Street (1947) at the request of the quite possibly the oldest and funniest man in town Deputy Billy Burns (George ‘Gabby’ Hayes) who really steals the show from Scott and Allen Harper (Robert Ryan) who want peace in the rain deprived town.
A state that can’t seem to let anything that the farmer sew to grow. Leading to farmers leaving in their droves to land that doesn’t take more than prayers and the hope of rainfall. It’s not good for landowner Harper (Ryan) who wants them to stay, work the land and make it their own, supporting the growing town. Also pushed out by the cattle barons lead by Logan Maury (Steve Brodie) who hates the restriction of the land by the wire fences that protect the crops that try to grow in the dry state. Driving the cattle in the line of progress preventing the farmers from even trying to make a life for themselves.
Only a few have a secret that allows the wheat and oats to grow. With the arrival of Bat Masterson on the scene law is quickly coming to the streets of Liberal. Something that is not welcomed by the cattle baron and his cowboys.
Not the strongest of westerns, thankfully saved from boredom by the ever-fresh and classic George ‘Gabby’ Hayes who with his many one-liners and tales that make little sense. With an almost text-book knowledge of the law, that he undertakes once enlisted to be Masterson’s deputy, something that he takes on with pride. I feel sorry for the second major hero Allen Harper who is caught in a point in his life where things could change for the better or worse at any time. Doing what he can and going with his heart that sees the introduction of really substantial law and the beginning of a farming revolution in the state.
- On this Day in Movie History, May 7 1885: Gabby (George Francis) Hayes Was Born (jaxonfilmfest.wordpress.com)