Tennessee's Partner (1955) John Payne, Ronald Reagan, Rhonda Fleming, Coleen Gray Movie Review

Tennessee's Partner (1955)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Rhonda Fleming in Tennessee's Partner (1955)

The President Saves Tennessee

Tennessee (John Payne) is use to trouble; he is a professional gambler operating out of Elizabeth 'Duchess' Farnham's (Rhonda Fleming) establishment which everyone knows is really a bordello. But when a disgruntled loser tries to bushwhack Tennessee he is more than grateful when stranger in town, Cowpoke (Ronald Reagan), comes to his rescue and then Duchess comes to both of their rescues when they end up in a cell together. It leads to Tennessee and Cowpoke becoming friends although their friendship is put to the test when Cowpoke's bride to be, Goldie Slater (Coleen Gray), arrives in town as Tennessee has had a run in with her before and knows exactly what she is like. But it is not only Goldie who leads to issues as Duchess has a thing for Tennessee except he is not the settling down sort of guy. And then there is a murder of a miner who strikes it rich and Tennessee and Cowpoke find themselves blamed.

"Tennessee's Partner" is just under 87 minutes but for a b-western it has what feels like a lot of storyline going on with it all revolving around Tennessee and a whole lot of trouble. We have an upset gambler, a gold digging former girlfriend, the woman who loves him deeply, a partner who thinks he is a love rat, a murder and of course the law trying to kick Tennessee out of town because of all the trouble he attracts. That might not sound that much but for a b-western it is and it surprisingly works well together with one thing leading to another and so on. I would never say it makes for a great western but it does make for an entertaining one.

What helps to keep "Tennessee's Partner" entertaining is the casting as we have Rhonda Fleming playing it as a strong woman but also one who is drop dead gorgeous alongside Ronald Reagan playing it as a down to earth good guy, a real honest Joe type. These two give the movie so much simple appeal that it makes it a likeable western. But then you have John Payne giving the movie the mix of slick and danger but not a complete bad guy.

What this all boils down to is that "Tennessee's Partner" isn't anything special but it is an enjoyable b-western which crams in a lot of story and some entertaining characters thanks to a likeable cast.