The Denver Kid (1948)

A Fox Over the Denver Border Patrol

When Fletch Roberts (Bruce Edwards) of the Border Patrol is killed and the rest of his team are set upon the only survivor, Sergeant Cooper (Hank Patterson), says it was Fletch's brother Tim (William Henry) who was behind it all. Lieut. Rocky Lane (Allan Lane) is sent down South to Cemetery Ridge posing as an outlaw to try and find the real killer as he doesn't believe that Tim would kill his brother despite their father, Captain Stan Roberts (Emmett Vogan) believing Tim to be guilty and for Fletch to have been in cahoots in Tim's rustling escapades.

John MacBurnie is a name I doubt means much to anyone but after watching "The Denver Kid" it is a name which I am going to keep an eye out for. The thing is that John MacBurnie isn't an actor or a director but a cinematographer and it is his skill with the camera which make this hour long western attention grabbing in a way so few of these westerns achieve. From capturing the epic nature of a rocky location to bringing to life the interiors of a druggists he constantly makes "The Denver Kid" visually appealing. Of course director Philip Ford must take part of the praise but it is the camera work which stands out.

The Denver Kid (1948)

But there is also this interesting set up in "The Denver Kid" of Cemetery Ridge where are outlaws are welcomed by the sheriff who has a scam to protect them where they can wander around as if they are on bail. Behind all this is the mysterious Mr. Fox who controls the town and has his rules to make the town tick with pretty much everyone in the town working for him. I don't know what it is but even all the regulars in this such as Allan Lane and Eddy Waller seem to be giving this more than they usually did making this a lot more engaging than you might expect especially seeing the story of a lawman masquerading as an outlaw is as cliche as they come.

What this all boils down to is that despite the seemingly routine nature of the story "The Denver Kid" stands out from many other one hour westerns. That comes down to not only the acting but also some beautiful cinematography which makes you sit up and pay attention.