ANGEL AND THE BADMAN

(1947)
With John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey, Bruce Cabot, Irene Rich, Tom Powers
Directed by James Edward Grant
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

Angel and the Badman     ANGEL AND THE BADMAN is one of John Wayne's more popular Westerns, in which the Duke's love for a gentle Quaker woman (Gail Russell) transforms him from a vengeful outlaw into a man of peace. Though its Biblical allegory is a bit contrived, right up to a climactic deus ex machina provided by local Marshal Harry Carey, the film is a successful blend of romantic melodrama and rugged Western action. As Quirt Evans, the outlaw with a strong moral code, Wayne delivers an outstanding performance of great emotional range. In this film and the following year's Wake of the Red Witch, Wayne and Gail Russell shared a passionate and electric chemistry (which they shared offscreen as well) second only to that of Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Russell, one of the screen's great beauties (those eyes would melt any man's heart), was also one of Hollywood's great tragedies.  As beautiful and talented as she was insecure, her chronic alcoholism destroyed a highly promising career and led to her early death at age 36. - JL

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