drifter comes to Denton, Texas, with no money and little prospects
until he gets lucky betting at the town's annual horse race;
but tragic events push him to the limit and, desperate for
money to settle down, he winds up on the wrong side of the law in the
Western adventure from 1949, Calamity Jane & Sam Bass...
ON ARRIVAL IN DENTON, TEXAS, drifter Sam Bass (Howard Duff: Kramer
vs Kramer) clashes with Sheriff Will Egan (Willard Parker) and falls in love
with the Sheriff's sweet-natured sister Katherine (Dorothy Hart: The Naked
City), who runs the store and who believes that her sister-in-law Lucy (Ann
Doran) will help Sam as she runs her brother's ranch.
annual horse race is about to begin and the famous Denton Mare is mooted as a
dead cert to win. But Sam bumps into Calamity Jane (the sultry Yvonne De Carlo:
The Ten Commandments), riding Thunderbolt, who along with his rider
takes a shine to Sam. The famous wild frontierswoman offers him a job.
Jane & Sam Bass is a wonderful vintage Western, well cast and
and with the only apparent opportunity to get money thwarted, Sam decides to sign
on to a cattle drive and is befriended by Joel Collins (a very youthful Lloyd
Bridges) and cook Dakota (Honseley Stevenson). Jim Murphy (Norman Lloyd), the
trail boss, and Link (Clifton Young) also accept Sam on the drive.
Sam sees a blacksmith accidentally damaging The Denton Mare's hoof, he realises
that Thunderbolt should win the race. Borrowing money, he bets on Thunderbolt
and when the Denton Mare loses, he offers to buy her at a knock-down price so
that he can race her and earn money to buy a ranch and settle down.
With big money at stake feelings run high and there are some who are determined
not to lose at any cost. A terrible tragedy and injustice results in Sam
losing the race and further money he has borrowed, sending him into a black mood.
Sam is out for vengeance, ending up on the wrong side of the law along
with his friends. Can he save himself and his friends, account for what he has
done and get the girl? Or has he gone past the point of no return?
Jane & Sam Bass is a wonderful vintage Western, well cast and well paced.
There is a lot to like about this 1940's movie, which is still a pleasure to watch.
Filmed in Utah, Calamity Jane & Sam Bass also features: Marc
Lawrence as Dean; Milburn Stone (Dr Galen "Doc" Adams in Gunsmoke); John
Rodney as Morgan; Roy Roberts as Marshal Peak; Charles Cane as J Wells; and Walter
Baldwin (The Best Years of Our Lives; Cheyenne Autumn) as Dee Purdy.
Costumes are by Yvonne Wood; Music Arranged and Conducted by Milton Schwarzwald;
Director of Photography is Irving Glassberg, ASC; Story by George Sherman; Associate
Producer is Aaron Rosenberg; Produced by Leonard Goldstein; and Directed by George
Sherman (Big Jake), winner of Western Heritage Award (1962) and the Golden
Boot Award (1988).
Hollywood Classics/Universal Pictures Western Calamity Jane & Sam Bass
is released on DVD in the UK, courtesy of Simply Media, on 18 April 2016. Certificate:
PG | Year: 1949 | Running Time: 86 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number: 164452
| RRP: £12.99.
"As purty as Western scenery can be and the chases on
horseback are dashing" ~ New York Times
"Calamity Jane & Sam
Bass is a wonderful vintage Western, well cast and well paced" ~ Maggie