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Arizona Raiders

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US, 1965, 88 minutes, Colour.
Audie Murphy, Michael Dante, Ben Cooper, Buster Crabbe, Gloria Talbott.
Directed by William Witney.

Arizona Raiders is in the tradition of the Audie Murphy westerns made at Universal Studios during the 1950s. Audie Murphy made a number of similar westerns for other studios during the 60s. His career was cut short by his death in a plane crash in 1971. While he appeared mainly in westerns, he also had some good roles in such films as The Unforgiven and The Quiet American. His character in this film, a member of Quantrell’s Raiders who is given the opportunity to become a Texas Ranger is very similar to his usual role. The villain is Michael Dante, Ben Cooper is his associate and the star of serials of the 30s and 40s, Buster Crabbe (who appeared as Flash Gordon as well as Buck Rogers) is the captain of the Rangers. Direction is by William Witney, a director of many serials of the 30s and 40s.

1. The popularity of Audie Murphy? Audie Murphy westerns? This film in that tradition?

2. The post-Civil War period, the raid of Quantrell’s men, the towns, the jails, the Arizona settings in the desert? The musical score?

3. The title, the setting up of rangers after the Civil War, the model of the Texas Rangers? The work in Arizona, especially against Quantrell?

4. The Quantrell gang, seeing them in action, their ruthlessness? Deaths, robberies? Their attacks on the carpetbaggers from the north? The voice-over and the moral commentary on Quantrell?

5. Captain Andrews, his work after the Civil War, the pursuit of the gang? The assault on the farm, the boy seeing them and giving information? The shoot-out, the escapes? Quantrell himself, Clint and the others?

6. Quantrell as leader, the motivations, the clash with Montana Smith? Brady and his ambitions? The escape, Quantrell being shot, his dying in a military hospital? The men assembling, Brady taking over?

7. Clint and Willie and their being taken, their being sentenced, Captain Andrews and his intervention in the court, the information from Clint’s brother, Danny? The sentence to twenty years? Their work in the prison, hard labour?

8. The Governor of Arizona, Quantrell’s Raiders and the damage they were doing, his asking Andrews to set up the rangers? Andrew’s idea of using Clint and Willie? The set-up in the desert, arranging their escape, taking him prisoner? Their giving their word?

9. Clint and his meeting with Danny, Danny and his admiration for his brother, the discussion about being in the raiders? Their oath? Their going to Brady and the gang?

10. The Indian village, the refugees from Mexico, the friars and their helping the Indians? The gang and their arrival, their brutality, the shoot-out? The chief and his confrontation, being put in the church, the killing of the friar? Taking over the town, for food, shelter? The abuse of Martina?

11. Clint and Willie, joining the gang again, their pretence? The possibility of leaving for Mexico? The reconciliation with Brady? Willie and his not wanting Clint to dishonour his word? The encounter with Danny, the men following them? The shoot-out, Danny being killed as a ranger? The Indians and their killing the two men? Clint and Willie returning to the gang, their story, Clint sending Willie for the rangers? Martina and her giving him the information? The bond with Martina and his having saved her? Willie being captured and brought back?

12. Brady confronting Clint, Willie and his injuries, his pretending to confront Clint, his death? Clint and his going to the rangers, the return, the destroying of the group? Clint and his confrontation with Brady? The role of the Indians, their pursuit, the arrows? Avenging the treatment of the village?

13. Stories of the west, the atmosphere of the unsettled states after the war, the humiliation of the south, the setting up of the rangers, the raiders, the Indians?

Created by: coffey last modification: Tuesday 28 of April, 2009 [10:23:03 UTC] by malone

Language: en