In Oklahoma, outlaw Belle Starr joins the Dalton gang but she causes a romantic rivalry and a rift between the gang members, especially on the eve of the planned robbery of a bank where a posse is secretly waiting in ambush.
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Stephen Torino (Wilde), who is tricked by his brother Marco (Adler) into an arranged marriage with tempestuous Annie Caldash (Russell). Annie is willing to give the union a go, but Torino wants none of it.
Ellen Beldon is due to be hanged in Texas for the murder of her husband but Jud Farrow, ranch foreman for her uncle, breaks her out of jail and escorts her to the safety of her uncle's New ... See full summary »
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In a fictionalized biography, Oklahoma outlaw Belle Starr meets the Dalton gang when rescued from lynching by Bob Dalton, who falls for her. So do gang member Mac and wealthy saloon owner Tom Bradfield, who's enlisted in a bankers' scheme to trap the Daltons. Dissension among the gang and Bradfield's ambivalence complicate the plot, as Belle demonstrates her prowess with shootin' irons, horses, and as a surprisingly racy saloon entertainer.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Montana Belle which probably at best started out to be an average B western product from RKO got to Howard Hughes's attention because it starred his protégé Jane Russell. This make believe account of the famous female outlaw Belle Starr got cut and recut and edited down to a mess of a story if you're looking for coherency. The film was made in 1948 and released in 1952 and that's always bad news.
Like Jane's first feature, The Outlaw, certain western legends who never in real life met up with each other, have dealings in the Hollywood west. In The Outlaw, it's the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid story rewritten to have Doc Holiday's participation. In Montana Belle, Jane as Belle Starr is rescued by Bob Dalton played by Scott Brady. But later when she mistakes a doublecross she forms her own gang with Forrest Tucker and Jack Lambert as a most stereotypical Indian.
In the meantime another guy with his hormones in a tizzy over Jane's titanic weaponry is George Brent, gentleman gambler and owner of the largest liquor&gaming establishment in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He's going to reform Jane and separate her from her disreputable outlaw companions. Nice work if you can get it.
You can't say too much about the story, Howard Hughes muddled this one, the same as he muddled, The Outlaw, Jet Pilot, and My Forbidden Past. One thing he didn't do for which we can thank the Deity is that he didn't cut Jane's number, The Gilded Lily from the film. It's definitely the best thing about Montana Belle.
But over at Republic they were shooting westerns with all their B stars that had more coherent plots than you see here.
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