“Comanche Territory” (1950)
This fictionalized story (even more than is usual for the historical fantasists of Hollywood) of a pre-Alamo frontier adventure featuring legendary Texan Jim Bowie (Macdonald Carey) concerns a territorial dispute by ruthless speculators simmering over silver mining rights located on sacred land guaranteed inviolate through a treaty with the U.S. government.
For reasons unexplained, Bowie is sent as a government emissary to ensure a smooth renewal of the treaty which would allow only the government to mine the precious silver ore from sacred Comanche land, though from the very first frames of the film there are indications that the film is willingly relaxing into the unchallenging comfort of the most elemental of genre formula. So after a brief escape from a Comanche war party, the rules of movie convenience dictate that Bowie immediately encounters and befriends former Congressman Dan’l Seeger (played in expectedly loquacious style by Will Geer) who just happens to have lost a copy of the renewed treaty to marauders of whom he can only identify by the a very unlikely perfume, the identity of the wearer being the most vaporous of mysteries since there is only one prominent female in the movie’s cast: a bullying tomboy named Katie Howard who happens to own the local saloon, bank and seemingly exerts an emasculating will of iron that would make Al Capone envious, but true to the Hollywood’s condescending reconception of the pioneer women, who will inexplicably jettison all of her hardened survival instincts for the lure of sappy romance under the influence of Bowie and the first available occasion to wear party dress.
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