Angel And The Badman

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Angel And The Badman


English   Country: USA   Year: 1947

Angel And The Badman

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James Edward Grant


John Wayne; Gail Russell




Beautiful Quaker girl tries to reform an all around bad guy. Black & White.

From an original story by the director. Copyright protection of music unknown - original music by Richard Hageman (d. 1966) and uncredited songs by Walter Kent (d. 1994).


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User Reviews


(Average=3.95 out of 5; Total Number=22)

A Pre-Review (rating=3)

The 3 stars above are on the strength of the movie itself. I'm waiting to see how good this transfer is.

I recently bought a different DVD edition of this movie (a "double feature" with a docu about Wayne's movie career as the other feature), and the transfer was literally the worst I've ever seen for any movie. It looked like it was done by pressing Silly Putty onto the film stock and then onto the DVD. Just wanted to give everyone a warning to avoid that edition.

Other reviews indicate this edition is a good transfer, so once I confirm that, I'll give it another star.

The Chased And The Chaste (rating=3)

The first shot of a character in a movie often tells you quite a bit about them, and Gail Russell has a doozy of a first shot in THE ANGEL AND THE BADMAN. While the title is running an unidentified cowboy is being chased and shot at by another group of cowboys. Although he evades them, his horse stumbles and he falls to the ground. Thomas Worth (John Halloran) and daughter Penelope (Gail Russell) are nearby. Thomas jumps off the cart they're riding and rushes to the fallen stranger. He calls to Penelope to come here, quick, and she whips the horses into a quick gallop.
The first center-framed image in the film is of Penelope in the cart, shot from far below, standing tall with a dark and troubled sky framing her ethereal beauty. There is something, this shot tells us, that is majestic and strong about her. It's a beautiful shot.
The injured cowboy is Quirt Evans (John Wayne), the Badman. This being Wayne, and this being a film from a different era, you'll have to take his Bad-ness with a grain of salt. When the Worth's announce they're going to tend to the injured cowboy, a bystander tells them he'd "as soon have a black powder bomb in my house."
The Worth's are Quakers, and the movie convincingly traces the developing love between Quirt and Penelope. Not so convincing is the interest the Law, Marshall Wistful McClintock (Harry Carey) and the Bad Guys show in Quirt. They have to be there, I guess, because Evans will have to renounce the gun or renounce the girl. They have to be there, but the sub-plots are half-cooked.
What would thee do if thee were pitching woo at a Quaker beauty? Probably pretty much the same thing Wayne did - bounce a baby in your arms, pick a few blackberries, and leave your guns behind at the worst possible times.
For an action movie this one is a little too wordy. The Marshall and the doctor (Tom Powers) are given pages and pages of script to read. What action there is - particularly the stampede and the cart chase - are well choreographed.
THE ANGEL AND THE BADMAN is good clean fun, pleasant enough for all audiences.

One Of The Best Westerns Ever Made (rating=5)

Angel and the Badman is as good a proof as you can find that good westerns aren't just about riding, shooting, dueling, and killing. The truly great old westerns featured some of the tightest, most compelling plots that you will ever find. This is the first of the John Wayne Productions released by Republic Pictures, and it is a true John Wayne classic. Needless to say, the Duke plays the "badman" as opposed to the angel, an outlaw of sorts with a complicated past in which he evolved from a lawman alongside Wyatt Earp in Tombstone to a cattle-rustling, gambling man with an eye for the ladies. To quote only one of the great lines in this film, Quirt Evans (John Wayne) closed the eyes of many a man and opened the eyes of many a woman. Quirt starts to change, though, when he collapses from a gunshot wound outside the home of a Quaker family transplanted from Pennsylvania to the Old West. Penelope, the young lady of the family immediately falls in love with him, and it is obvious that Quirt is in turn touched by this angel from the very start. It seems a little odd that the family of Friends would be so welcoming and accommodating to the budding attraction going on, considering Quirt's past, but they see only the good in the man. Farm life is not Quirt's natural calling, and he admittedly slips from the path of virtue, but in time he faces up to the fact that he has indeed changed. Of course, happiness is not insured at this point, as the local marshal still has hopes of hanging Quirt some day, and the man who killed Quirt's foster father remains a real threat to him. The ending is not exactly unpredictable, but it is heart-warming and entertaining all the same.

Great actors filling great roles from top to bottom really make Angel and the Badman a benchmark film to which other westerns should be judged. Gail Russell is indeed an angel more than capable of touching and reforming the crustiest of men, and I can assure you she is not the kind of Quaker woman I would quite have envisioned; she could easily make an instant farmer out of me. The Duke is, well, he's the Duke; the man incapable of giving a bad performance is at his best in this film. You have to love the minor characters, as well. Not only does Angel and the Badman feature a string of unforgettable, entertaining minor players, it incorporates each of them into the story itself in a meaningful way, from Quirt's old buddy with a penchant for telling tales Quirt would rather not have his angel hear to the local telegraph operator whose chance encounter with the legendary cowboy sets him off bragging about his friend Quirt and their long history of friendship. Everyone associated with this movie obviously cared a great deal, and it shows; not a single facet of film-making was overlooked or ignored. Angel and the Badman clearly belongs on the short list of the greatest westerns ever made.


How can you go wrong with a movie featuring the great Harry Carey as a philosophical lawman named Wistful McClintock?Well sir (or ma'am), you can't, and this first production from John Wayne's personal unit at Republic is simply one of the loveliest Westerns anybody ever made. The producer-star plays gunslinger Quirt Evans who, wounded by his archrival Laredo Stevens (Bruce Cabot), is taken in and sheltered by a Quaker family--in particular, by the daughter of the household, a dark-eyed angel (Gail Russell) who could entice Satan himself to the path of virtue. Not that these good people get pushy about converting "Brother Evans." For his part, Marshal McClintock, who's amiably looked forward to hanging Quirt someday, keeps dropping by to see which happens first--Quirt's reformation, or Laredo's return to finish the job he started.

Entrusting the direction to screenwriter James Edward Grant, Wayne bolstered Grant's debut by tapping Yakima Canutt to handle the hard-riding second-unit stuff. The Duke also stole a few moves from a little project he'd been working on with Howard Hawks,Red River. Such larceny may have been superfluous. Grant wrote far and away the best script Wayne had ever had at Republic, creating a gallery of memorable characters (including comparative bystanders) and developing some very entertaining business for them--especially for such juicy character actors as Paul Hurst (the Quakers' mean-spirited neighbor), Olin Howlin (a braggadocious telegraph operator), and Hank Worden. The result was a minor classic deftly blending humor, romance, authentic sweetness, and just enough leathery menace to keep things on the generic up-and-up. This one's a real treat.--Richard T. Jameson