Monday, 3 December 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: The Fastest Guns Of The West DVD

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon

Now available on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment is The Fastest Guns of the West (Not Rated; $19.98; 553 minutes), featuring 8 classic B-westerns directed by the legendary William Castle (House on the Haunted Hill; 13 Ghosts).

The 8 westerns on the 2-disc set are:

Klondike Kate (1943; 64 minutes) - Set in Alaska during the 1890s, the film is loosely based on Klondike Kate (Kathleen Rockwell), a vaudeville star and dancer during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Masterson of Kansas (1954; 73 minutes) - The film stars George Montgomery as Bat Masterson, who teams up with Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp to protect a land exchange between a rancher and an Indian chief.

Conquest of Cochise (1953; 70 minutes) - The film centers around Major Tom Burke (played by Robert Stack) leading four Dragoons to Tucson, where they must battle the Apache and Comanche Indian tribes, as well as dealing with a ruthless businessman.

Jesse James VS the Daltons (1953; 65 minutes) - Filmed in 3D, the movie centers around Joe Branch (played by Brett King), an outlaw who believes he is the son of the famous bank robber Jesse James. He must team up with the Dalton Gang to help locate some cash that was hidden by the James Gang years ago.

Battle of Rogue River (1954; 71 minutes) - George Montgomery stars as Major Frank Archer, who is sent to pre-Civil War Oregon Territory to keep peace with the white settlers and the Indians.

The Gun That Won the West (1955; 71 minutes) - The film centers on two frontier scouts Jim Bridger (played by Dennis Morgan) and "Dakota Jack" Gaines (played by Richard Denning) being assigned to construct a series of forts in the Sioux Indian territory.

Duel on the Mississippi (1955; 72 minutes) - The film centers on Andre Tulane (played by Lex Barker) being debt-bound to Lili Scarlet (played by Patricia Medina), aka - the gambling-ship queen. He must protect her against a gang of river pirates.

Uranium Boom (1956; 67 minutes) - The film centers around Grady (played by William Talman) and Brad (played by Dennis Morgan), mining partners who are fighting over the affections of Jean Williams (played by Patricia Medina).

Final Thoughts

It's nice to see a few of William Castle's non-horror movies being released to DVD. He was a great director who took cliched western scripts and turned them into entertaining movies.  I enjoyed watching all 8 films on this collection. Don't expect historically accurate stories, especially with Jesse James vs. the Daltons and Masterson of Kansas.

There are 4 movies crammed on each disc, so the video and sound quality aren't topnotch. Klondike Kate, Conquest of Cochise, and Jesse James vs. The Daltons are in 1.33:1 full frame and the rest are in 1.85:1 widescreen. It's best to watch these on a smaller screen. There are no special features or extras.

Overall, despite some shortcomings with the video quality, I had fun watching The Fastest Guns of the West. The DVD set would make an interesting gift for any western fan.

*Note : I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. 
All opinions are my own.

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