Law of the Badlands (1951) starring Tim Holt, Richard Martin, Joan Dixon, Robert Livingston, Leonard Penn directed by Lesley Selander Movie Review

Law of the Badlands (1951)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Tim Holt and Richard Martin in Law of the Badlands (1951)

Chito's Love Life

A counterfeiting operation in the badlands has managed to stay one step ahead of the law so Texas Rangers Dave (Tim Holt) and Chito Jose Gonzalez Bustamonte Rafferty (Richard Martin) are ordered to go in undercover. So that is what they do, posing as a pair of outlaws and ingratiating themselves with the outlaws who are running the operation out of the printing office. And all is going reasonably well until Chito's womanizing ways catch up with him and one of his girlfriend's shows up and blows his cover leaving him and Dave trapped by outlaws.

There are times when I wish I could have been in the producer's office back in the old days of westerns when they were a dime a dozen. I would love to have known what went through their heads when they found yet another script on their desk which was almost identical to half a dozen others they had already looked at. I say that because I know that when I chose to watch one of these old westerns now the chances of it surprising me are slim. And "Law of the Badlands" certainly doesn't surprise me with it using the old story of good guys masquerading as outlaws to bust some criminal activities.

As such let me say right now that "Law of the Badlands" is 90% familiar with the double act of Tim Holt and Richard Martin playing the undercover Texas Rangers again. But there is that 10% which is a bit different and whilst not completely original the counterfeiting part is a nice variation on the usual land stealing and stagecoach robbing. Plus there is the amusement of Chito's womanizing ways causing issues for are heroic pair. Oh and there is one other twist which will make you smile but only briefly when it comes to the blacksmith.

What this all boils down to is that "Law of the Badlands" is like many of these westerns featuring Tim Holt, pretty regular. But those small moments of originality lift this up to at least be entertaining even if it isn't overly memorable.