SUGARFOOT. (1951)

SUGARFOOT opens with a wagon train coming  into Prescott, Arizona. We meet the two protagonists in the first scene –  even their names give you an idea of who you will be rooting  for. RANDOLPH SCOTT is ‘Jackson Redan ‘ and RAYMOND MASSEY is ‘Jacob Stint’.

Both are looking  for a new life in the West, but Stint doesn’t want to work for it. As they both look down to  Prescott, Stint wonders if there will be any women in town.

Redan’s reply lets you know that he considers himself a gentleman – “In this wilderness, there may be women but there can’t be ladies”.

Redan’s mode of dress also seems strange for a long trek – he’s immaculate in his fancy vest, tie and coat!

But, don’t worry, a quarter way through the film, Redan realises he needs to dress down a bit and gets the usual black outfit and gun belt that we are used to seeing Scott wear.

 

Things move at some speed for Redan as he takes a room in a boarding house run by ‘Mary’ (Hope Landin) , who christens him ‘Sugarfoot’ ( which seems to be somewhere below a tenderfoot), after seeing his fancy garb and hearing his polite way of talking.

Saloon singer ‘Reva Cairn’ (ADELE JERGENS) also boards there. Reva is the most prim  and proper saloon girl ever seen in a western. More like a school teacher! Evan Redan is surprised, saying :

You’re not what I pictured gambling hall girls to look like.”

We’re told Redan is from a fine old family in Alabama. I guess they didn’t have saloons there.

 

As I said, things move swiftly for the stranger  in town. He’s such a fine upstanding gentleman that store owner Don Miguel (S.Z.ZAKALL) gives him $5,000 to purchase merchandise for him in La Paz.

Don Miguel explains his name – “I speak Spanish better than I speak English”.

And the saloon owner, Mr. Crane (ROBERT WARWICK) thinks he’d make a fine faro dealer – Redan rejects that job offer.

The money is stolen before Redan can leave town. But, hey, Don Miguel still trusts him and borrows another $5,000 from Mr. Crane – who doesn’t even ask what it is for!

 

Reva sings a fetching little song, “He looks like he might buy wine.” and is politely applauded.

 

Randolph Scott, Adele Jergens

 

Meanwhile, Redan is lucky enough to hook up with a westerner who knows what’s what – ‘Fly Up The Creek Jones’ (ARTHUR HUNNICUTT) who teams up with Jackson.

Redan reckons it must have been Stint who stole the money. They have a shoot-out and Stint draws a gun from his sleeve and Redan is injured. Reva and the others look after Redan as he recovers. And you know there will be a final confrontation between him and Stint.

 

Good to see HANK WORDEN as ‘Johnny Behind the Stove’ – Johnny works in the saloon and is a sometimes bodyguard for Reva.

I liked the whole cast , the characters are well drawn . It’s not top- drawer Scott but it’s an enjoyable 80 minutes.

Wonder why it’s not got a dvd release.

When Warner Brothers , In 1957, produced a TV series with the same name,’Sugarfoot’, the film was re-released as “Swirl of Glory” (heaven knows why). The only similarity between the film and TV show was the title song.

Raymond Massey would again be Randolph Scott’s foe a year  later in CARSON CITY.

The film’s director, EDWIN L. MARIN also directed half a dozen other Scott westerns. The last film he directed before his death at the age of 52 was FORT WORTH .

{Marin also directed one of my favourite musicals, “SHOW BUSINESS” in 1944.}  He was married to Ann Morriss whom I always remember as the exercise instructor in “The Women” who has to deal with Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine.

 

“CARVED IN GRANITE”

Good description of Scott.

7 responses »

  1. Vienna, good post. I remember watching SUGARFOOT a lot, back in the 1960’s on WREC-TV Channel 3 Early Movie. This movie is a longtime favorite. The supporting actors were so good in this one. The photographs you give us are wonderful.

    As you know, this movie had nothing to do with the TV show SUGARFOOT(1957-61)staring Will Hutchins. The TV show was taken from the movie THE BOY FROM OKLAHOMA(1954) staring Will Rogers, Jr. as Tom Brewster. The BOY FROM OKLAHOMA is a good entertaining movie directed by Michael Curtiz.

  2. Vienna, it is interesting that Will Rogers, Jr. starred as his father in THE STORY OF WILL ROGERS(1952), which was also directed by Michael Curtiz. Will, Jr. did a very good job of portraying his father. At the moment, I can’t think of any other actor or actress portraying their star parents in a movie biography about that parent. I know that Eddie Foy, Jr. and Desi Arnez, Jr. have played their fathers, but not starring in a movie biography about them.

    • Vienna, it is an interesting dynamic. Also, Geraldine Chaplin portrayed her grandmother Hannah Chaplin, in the movie CHAPLIN(1992).

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