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Monday, October 27, 2014

'The Young Guns' DVD: Juvenile Delinquents of the Old West

YOUNG GUNS, THE (1956)
The concept of combining the Western genre with another film style that works so well in the recently released (and Unreal TV reviewed) Warner Archive DVD of the 1952 Robert Mitchum/Susan Hayward film "The Lusty Men" equally succeeds in the 1956 Western/juvenile delinquent film "The Young Guns." Having a sheriff as the stereotypical parental figure who is trying to keep our youthful hero in the latter on the straight-and-narrow perfectly illustrates the blend of genres.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of one of the best scenes in "Guns" provides an excellent sense of the aforementioned hybrid style of the film.



On a related note, "Guns" shares very little in common with the 1988 film "Young Guns" other than a similar name, an Old West setting, and a youthful cast.

Casting dreamy "West Side Story" star Russ Tamblyn (who nicely fills out jeans fore and aft) as main "gun" Tully Rice is very apt considering that the valiant efforts of that disaffected character to overcome the literal sins of his father ultimately prompt him to forsake respectable Chalmers, Wyoming in favor of the neighboring community of Black Crater. Modern examples of the feud between these burgs are the animosity between Springfield and neighboring Shelbyville on "The Simpsons" and Pawnee and Eagleton on "Parks and Recreation."

One difference between the two towns in "Guns" and the less dramatic variations regarding the TV Land communities is that Chalmers is peaceful and law-abiding and juvenile delinquents and other nefarious types rule Black Crater.

The drama extends beyond Tully being driven out of Chalmers to his peers not exactly welcoming him with open arms. Though sans switchblades and singing, the fight "dances" in "Guns" hold their own regarding comparable scenes in "Story."

Our young man effectively without a town ultimately finds himself facing the cliched dilemma of having to decide the locale of his loyalties regarding the two communities in which he largely is unwelcome. In true Western hero style, he achieves the best possible result.

The successful melange of already strong individual elements makes "Guns" particularly special and well worth adding to your home video library.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Guns" is welcome to either email me or connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.