Bob Steele Double Feature Collection, Vol. 2 (7 Discs) product details page

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Bob Steele Double Feature Collection, Vol. 2 (7 Discs)

Jean CarmenPeggy CampbellEleanor Stewart

Director: Ira WebbSam NewfieldJ.P. McCarthy

released: June 30, 2009

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Overly complicated at times considering its brief running time, The Gun Ranger at least benefits from good location filming at Idyllwild, CA, a mountain resort above Palm Springs. Bob Steele was one of Hollywood's most popular actors and his leading lady in The Gun Ranger, former model Eleanor Stewart), remembers him with affection. "Steele," she recalls, "was like a father to me and made sure I had a comfortable cabin at Idyllwild, where we filmed." Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

It is good to see William Farnum in a more substantial role for a change. A major star of such groundbreaking epic Westerns as The Spoilers (1914) and Riders of the Purple Sage (1918), Farnum spent his reclining years in mostly small supporting roles. He is the de facto lead in The Kid Ranger, however, and adds a certain substantiality to the otherwise rather slipshod proceedings. Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

Evocative and, at times, downright weird, The Big Calibre is in many ways typical of its director, Robert North Bradbury, who usually added something unusual to his films although rarely on the scale of the weird goings-on here. Bob Steele is well aided in the comedy sequence by elderly sidekick John Elliott (a veteran actor who usually portrayed the girl's father) and by Georgia O'Dell as an amorous servant. Sources differ regarding the identity of the actor playing the killer: Some claim the role was played by veteran Bad Guy William Quinn, while a majority points to writer Perry Murdock performing the part himself. Perhaps director Bradbury meant the identity of the killer to truly remain a secret. Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

A below average entry in Bob Steele's western oeuvre, Smokey Smith is saddled with a humdrum screenplay (by director Robert N. Bradbury, Steele's real-life father) and a downright embarrassing performance by leading lady Mary Kornman. A former member of Hal ******'s Our Gang troupe, Kornman's teenaged line readings must be heard to be believed. Suffice it to say, the former child star enjoyed only limited success as an adult screen personality. Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

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