Same Old Story of the Streets
Jim Dawkins (William Holden), Wahoo Jones (William Bendix) and Lorn Remmin (Macdonald Carey) have done pretty well for themselves as outlaws and even find the time to turn hero when they comes to the aid of Rannie (Mona Freeman) and her pa when they come across them getting hassled by some carpetbaggers. After the guys pull off one final bank robbery things get complicated as whilst Jim declares his love for Rannie she would rather be with Lorn unaware of how much of a bad guy he is who unlike his friend is still an outlaw whilst Wahoo and Jim have become Texas Rangers and find themselves having to bring Lorn in.
Right from the opening musical arrangement there is something about "Streets of Laredo" which doesn't quite feel right. Maybe it is that musical score which not only dominates the opening credits but the power of the various orchestral movements through out the movie seem to have a life of their own especially when it comes to emphasising a humorous scene. Or maybe it is that cinematographer Ray Rennahan has captured the scenery so well that at times it almost looks too good to be true with mountain back drops basking in the sun and skies with amazing cloud structures.
The thing is that whilst the cinematography and musical accompaniments are strong the rest of "Streets of Laredo" is pretty generic. We have outlaws turned good guys who have to bring to order a guy they use to run with and there is also a love triangle of sorts with the attractive young woman having a thing for a bad guy. But both these things are extremely typical and sadly there is not enough variation here, not even listening to some rangers singing "Streets of Laredo", to make it a captivating movie.
And part of the trouble with "Streets of Laredo" comes down to the thinly written characters as with nothing to really make them feel individuals they end up generic and forgettable. As such whilst you have William Holden doing good guy, Macdonald Carey doing bad guy and William Bendix in the comedy sidekick role you won't really remember their characters much after the movie has finished. In fact you are more likely to remember Mona Freeman who comes across a bit like June Allyson but with a touch of Doris Day about her at the same time.
What this all boils down to is that "Streets of Laredo" is an easy on the eye distraction for western fans who enjoy the usual romantic angle which filled these sorts of movies. But it is ultimately a generic western with nothing to make it stand out from the western crowd.