An excellent action film with marvelous cinematography that captures the splendor of the Old West, KIT CARSON mixes fact and legend and comes up with a stirring tale. Hall is the fabled scout, perhaps the greatest who ever lived, guiding Andrews (as John C. Fremont) and his troops--plus a
caravan of prairie schooners--across the plains and mountains to the promised land of California. As they battle storms and Indian attacks, Hall and Andrews compete for the affections of one of the travelers, Bari. Once in California a new menace arrives in the form of Mexican general Gordon and
his soldiers, intent upon making the state a province of Mexico. Hall and his pioneer pals, Bond and Huber, defend a walled hacienda against the invading Mexicans while Andrews gathers his forces. After a titanic battle, the Mexicans rush the hacienda and kill Bond and Huber. Hall is saved with
the arrival of Andrews and the US troops who rout Gordon and save the day. Bari winds up with Hall, much to the tongue-tied scout's surprise, with Andrews gallantly stepping out of the picture.
Producer Small spared no expense in mounting this fine western. Where the script is weak, the action and lensing are strong, with credit going to helmsman Seitz. Hatton appears in some memorable scenes as the legendary trailblazer Jim Bridger and silent film star Farnum, once the western idol of
the two-reelers, performs as the owner of the hacienda. Bari is lovely, Hall and Andrews dashing, and the whole film is pure enjoyment. The great scout, Christopher "Kit" Carson (1809-1868) has been profiled in films many times. Fred Thomson played the scout in a 1928 silent. Johnny Mack Brown
played him in FIGHTING WITH KIT CARSON, 1933, Sammy McKim essayed the man in THE PAINTED STALLION, 1938, and Wild Bill Elliott played him again in OVERLAND WITH KIT CARSON, 1939. Rip Torn would later play the intrepid scout in a 1986 TV mini-series featuring Richard Chamberlain as John C. Fremont.
Along with Buffalo Bill Cody (who named his one and only son after Carson, Kit Carson Cody, a boy who died of illness in infancy), Daniel Boone and Jim Bridger, Carson was the stuff of legend, an image this film captures with a wonderful flair.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: An excellent action film with marvelous cinematography that captures the splendor of the Old West, KIT CARSON mixes fact and legend and comes up with a stirring tale. Hall is the fabled scout, perhaps the greatest who ever lived, guiding Andrews (as John C… (more)