Scott Partners with a Fly-Up-the-Creek
To call "Sugarfoot" just average is not an insult as at just 80 minutes this is your stereotypical western which filled the big screen during the 50s. It features Randolph Scott playing the handsome stranger who comes to a small town trying to make a new life for himself but in typical fashion he not only finds romance but also trouble causing him to fight a bad guy. There is little more to "Sugarfoot" than that and to be honest would have ended a dull procession through a generic western if it wasn't for the enjoyable performances of Arthur Hunnicutt, Adele Jergens and S.Z. Sakall to liven it up.
Having retired from the army Jackson Redan (Randolph Scott - My Favorite Wife) comes to Prescott, Arizona looking to make a fresh start. Honest and upstanding he manages to get work picking up goods for local store owner Don Miguel Wormser (S.Z. Sakall - Tea for Two) and makes friends with various locals including Fly-Up-the-Creek Jones (Arthur Hunnicutt - Broken Arrow) and the beautiful Reva Cairn (Adele Jergens) who sings at the Saloon. But Jackson is not the only newcomer to Prescott and Jacob Stint (Raymond Massey) also arrives looking to get rich by what ever means necessary and it brings him into confrontation with Jackson.
Different names, a different place but to be honest the storyline to "Sugarfoot" is both simple and familiar. It is the sort of storyline which formed the basis of many a western during the 1950s and can be summed up by saying the handsome Jackson defeats the bad guy and wins the girl. Thankfully at just 80 minutes this simple storyline isn't dragged out and between some moments of action, often laced with a little humour there is just enough storytelling to bring it all together. But it isn't anything new and with in 10 minutes of "Sugarfoot" starting you know how it's going to go.
But the thing about "Sugarfoot" is that it has a good cast and it is the cast which makes it entertaining and not just another dull, routine western. Okay so Randolph Scott is once again playing the handsome generic hero which he had done before and Raymond Massey as Jacob Stint is just as generic as the bad guy but it is the rest of the cast which makes it work. S.Z. Sakall is wonderful as Don Miguel Wormser toning down his natural ability to be funny but still delivering some of the movies funnier moments as he takes Jackson under his wings. And Arthur Hunnicutt is a joy as the amusingly named Fly-Up-the-Creek Jones whose dead pan delivery of some wonderful dialogue never fails to liven up a run of the mill scene, especially when the wet behind the ears Jackson is about to come a cropper. It is these plus the beautiful Adele Jergens who make "Sugarfoot" enjoyable even if it still ends up quite forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "Sugarfoot" is to be honest a run of the mill 50s western, a generic storyline with generic characters and generic action. It is forgettable and could have ended up a dull stroll through a routine western storyline but is livened up by the good casting especially that of Arthur Hunnicutt and S.Z. Sakall who steal many a scene with their humour which isn't a bad thing.