DAKOTA LIL (1950) MARIE WINDSOR

 

 

image. Made in color by Fox, unfortunately the copy I saw of DAKOTA LIL was in black and white. So the look of the western was somewhat spoiled. But it was great to see Marie Windsor in a leading role.
It’s 1897 and from the start we know Rod Cameron is the villain – he’s Kid Curry and leads the Hole in the Wall gang. He callously strangles a railway guard on the train the gang are robbing.
Their spoils, $100,000,aren’t negotiable as the bank notes aren’t signed.
This is where Marie,as the Lil of the title, comes in. Just happens Lil is a skilled forger and engraver. (learned from her father ).
George Montgomery is tasked by Treasury official, James Flavin to find the cash.
Lil is keeping away from the law down in Mexico, singing in a cantina and accompanied by pianist John Emery.
Nice touch to have Emery as an Easterner who plays classical music in the saloon! Emery plays a weak individual who can’t keep away from Lil.(atypical casting for Emery).
Marie does some singing but for once ,whoever dubbed for her didn’t capture her deep tones. image
Lil ends up back in the States and quickly replaces Marion Martin as the singer at Rod Cameron’s saloon. Wallace Ford is another government agent who is undercover at the saloon.

Rod doesn’t like Emery and calls him “a piano puncher’.
Lil defends him, “Vincent is a real artist.”
Rod replies,” So am I, with a Colt 45″

Another nice touch is a scene where Lil is sitting at a typewriter in Rod’s office,typing an agreement for her to get 10% of saloon business ( though she really wants to get a copy of Rod’s signature to help George).
As she types, Rod says, “I never did approve of schooling for females.”

At the gang hide-out, Walter Sande is an odd choice for Butch Cassidy. Plus Jack Lambert as a trigger happy gang member .

At the end, George has made Lil realise she might as well face the music and get a reduced jail term by helping him get the money and nail Cameron.
As she gives him one of the unsigned $1000 notes, she says, “Here’s my ticket to Leavenworth!”
But George will be waiting for Dakota Lil!

I liked this fast paced, action packed western. Marie plays her usual tough dame but she’s the leading lady and proved she should have had more leading roles.
George Montgomery is dressed in black throughout, but the only man in black for me is Randolph Scott!
I’m afraid I thought he and Rod Cameron were just ok. Wallace Ford and John Emery impressed me more.It was Marie’s film. Hope I get to see it in color.
Has anyone seen Marie in BEGINNER’S LUCK (1951, with Steve Brodie). Sounds good.

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