The Blue Moon Train (1968)
A-1 Joe Lehigh (Broderick Crawford) shows up in Cimarron and the Wayfarers Inn looking for work much to Marshal Jim Crown's (Stuart Whitman) disdain as he knows he is trouble and wants him gone. But Joe's showing up Cimarron is no accident as he knows that a prison train will be coming through with many of his buddies on and he plans to free them. Taking a seriously injured Francis (Randy Boone) hostage he swears that unless Crown releases the outlaws from the prison train he is going to kill the young deputy. With time ticking down and with Francis dying from his injury Jim has some tough choices to make.
There were 23 episodes of "Cimarron Strip" made and "The Blue Moon Train" was episode 21 although it was the 10th one produced. The strange thing it doesn't feel like that as it feels like it might have been produced towards the end of the run as the storyline is slim. What we have is a lot of padding which seems to go on for quite a while until the story of Francis being injured and taken hostage comes in to play. Yes some of the stuff which feels like padding such as MacGregor taking a photo of Francis and Dulcey is amusing but it only feels like it is there to use up a few minutes.
But like many of these episodes of "Cimarron Strip", "The Blue Moon Train" is still entertaining and works as a standalone movie thanks to the guest performances. In this case we have Broderick Crawford who comes over brilliantly as crotchety and mean, the sort of person if they lived near you people would be scared off because of his tough and nasty demeanour.
Aside from Broderick Crawford the rest of the cast as in the regulars do a regular job. It is very much a case that the likes of Herbert, Boone and Townsend were almost on autopilot whilst Stuart Whitman whilst still doing a good job was not delivering his A game in this one.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "The Blue Moon Train" is entertaining and like other episodes of "Cimarron Strip" works as a standalone movie it feels remarkably ordinary and often struggles to keep hold of your attention thanks to the padding.
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