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San Antonio

AMERICA'S MOST GLORIOUS ADVENTURE!
San Antonio
Rancher Clay Hardin arrives in San Antonio to search for and capture Roy Stuart, notorious leader of a gang of cattle rustlers. The vicious outlaw is indeed in the Texan town, intent on winning the affections of a beautiful chanteuse named Jeanne Starr. When the lovely lady meets and falls in love with the charismatic Hardin, the stakes for both men become higher.

Reviews

John Chard
This town looks as if it's full of men who step on baby chickens. San Antonio is directed by David Butler and written by Alan Le May and W. R. Burnett. It stars Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Paul Kelly, S.Z. Sakall, Florence Bates and Victor Francen. Music is by Max Steiner and cinematography by Bert Glennon. It's always interesting to compare Errol Flynn's Westerns, his work in a genre he was not overly fond of. Depending on your Western genre proclivities of course, there's a mix of the old fashioned type, where Errol flirts and is heroic, or the more serious ones where his heroism is underplayed. San Antonio is the former. Plot has Flynn as Clay Hardin, who is the man who can prove that town impresario Roy Stuart (Kelly) is the man responsible for the rampant cattle rustling going on in the state. There's agendas gnawing away in the plot, romantic dalliances that bring the delightful Alexis Smith into prominence, and of course there's frothy comedy light relief - the proviso here is if Sakall and Bates' thing doesn't irritate you? Flynn is ace, athletic with a handsomeness that's rarely been bettered in Hollywood, to which here he's on lovable rascal form, playing off of Smith with appealing skill. Smith is a strong foil for her leading man, holding her end up in both stern characteristics and comedy angles. While it's always great to find Kelly in a villain role, here getting his teeth into it for much viewing reward. Unfortunately this really could have done with a better director, the blend of drama and comedy seemingly uneasy in Butler's hands. The big denouement between hero and villain is a damp squib, which is a shame as we are in the ruins of The Alamo, a poignant piece of architecture that positively demands a more extended and vigorous finale. Elsewhere, Glennon's photography is pleasing if lacking in exterior splendours, and Steiner's score will sound familiar to anyone already familiar with his work. Gloriously pretty, vibrant and colourful, it's well weighted with good production values and a solid cast, but as fun as it is it does lack some urgency ingredients to be great. 7/10

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