Great film, a transposition of Stevenson’s Treasure Island to California.
The gold of the Painted Lady is hidden down in Baja, the lad is met at the Sea Road Inn, the trail is overland, the images and plot meant little enough at the time, seemingly.
Pirate gold from south of the border, under a bridge at that.
Constantly amusing, with songs by John Cameron and Lionel Bart, a bravura performance by the director as Peg, a fine cast and superb direction that Time Out Film Guide calls “erratic” (Halliwell’s Film Guide says the whole thing, light as a feather, is “heavily overdone”).
A Texas marshal leading “the finest posse in the world” against a notorious train robber, and running for the U.S. Senate.
Canby was convinced that political innocence lay behind it all. “It’s as if we wished that Presidents could be brought by storks,” he wrote in his New York Times review.
“A good western,” said Variety, “a sort of convoluted High Noon.”
“All politicians are full of shit,” says the printer at the Tesota Sentinel.
Time Out Film Guide understood political analysis to have been invented around this time, and follows Canby on “na´vetÚ”.
The T & A R.R. is “progress”, it gives the marshal a private train. Having captured the outlaw and saved Tesota, he tells the cheering citizens, “the job has just begun!”