Law of the Lash (1947)
The most unlikely cowboy hero of them all, whip-wielding, black-garbed "Lash" La Rue made his starring debut in this moderately entertaining B-Western from low-budget PRC. "Lash" La Rue plays the Cheyenne Kid, a prospector saving pretty shopkeeper Jane Hilton (former Fox starlet Mary Scott) from being harrassed by uncouth stage robber Lefty (Lee Roberts in a fine multi-layered performance). The latter follows Jane and her father (John Elliott) on an errand to Cheyenne's camp but is disarmed by the black-clad stranger's whip. Going slowly "loco" from being cooped up in a cabin for days with Cheyenne's uncommunicative sidekick Fuzzy (Al St. John) and the incessant ticking of a clock as sole company, Lefty is finally released by a seemingly magnanimous Cheyenne. Naturally, the henchman leads Cheyenne and Fuzzy straight to his boss, Decker (Jack O'Shea). In the climactic shootout, Cheyenne not only reveals himself to be a U.S. marshal in disguise, but that "Decker" is in reality the notorious wanted criminal "Dude" Bracken. Slightly better than its rather tawdry reputation, the La Rue Cheyenne Kid series was ostensibly launched because a jaded post-war audience liked the idea of a cowboy hero resembling Humphrey Bogart rather than Gene Autry. An equally valid reason for the series' modest success, however, was the enduring appeal of St. John's Fuzzy Q. Jones character, a hold-over from PRC's late Buster Crabbe/Billy the Kid Westerns. … More
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