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Valley of the Sun

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Valley of the Sun (1942) starring James Craig, Lucille Ball, Dean Jagger
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Valley of the Sun (1942) starring James Craig, Lucille Ball, Dean Jagger

In Valley of the Sun, a man escapes from prison, and heads to Washington, D.C. But he faces a crooked Indian agent as he as he tries to prevent a war between the cavalry and the Indians. And fights with him for the love of a beautiful woman!

Review

Valley of the Sun is a Western movie, with lots of comedy. Absolutely hilarious comedy! Most of it is supplied by the great Billy Gilbert. Lucille Ball is actually doing a straight role here, although she works her comedy magic on occasion. As does Cedrick Hardwicke, surprisingly!

Comedy highlights

  • Indian arrow piercing Billy Gilbert’s hat while he’s riding the stagecoach.
  • Jonathon bathing in the water barrel as Christine’s trying to stop him.
  • Dropping red ants on Sawyer, to disrupt his wedding.
  • Jonathon, deposited in Christine’s bed by Willie, since he needs medical attention! How to explain a strange man in her bed to her fiancé?
  • Interrupting poor Billy Gilbert as he’s trying to perform a wedding ceremony on the stagecoach.
  • When Jonathon kisses Christine in front of the Indian tribe, she slaps him! And the Chief says that their ways are different, but with the same results. He bends his head over so she can see the lump on the back of his head!
  • Christine hiding the key, losing it, then finding and delivering it to Jonathon during the Indian attack!
  • The botched rescue attempt toward the end of the movie

Cast of characters

  • Lucille Ball (Lured, I Love Lucy) … Christine Larson. The lovely owner of the local restaurant, about to be married to Sawyer. She wrongly thinks that he loves her, and she’s unaware of his crooked dealings.
  • James Craig (Our Vines Have Tender Grapes) … Jonathan Ware. The protagonist, on the run from the military, for releasing three Indian braves. They were being railroaded, and about to be executed. On the run, he comes into the town, meets Christine as she’s getting dressed in her wedding gown, and is determined to stop the marriage.
  • Cedric Hardwicke (On Borrowed Time) … Lord Warrick. Sawyer’s nemesis, who’s more than willing to help Jonathon, and gleefully helps stop the wedding! From then on, he becomes Jonathon’s steadfast friend and helper.
  • Dean Jagger (Billy Rose’s Jumbo) … Jim Sawyer. The very corrupt Indian Affairs agent, who’s stealing 80% of the cattle assigned to the native Americans.
  • Peter Whitney (The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm) … Willie. The kind-hearted, simple young man who keeps rescuing injured animals for Christine to patch up. At one point, including Jonathon!
  • Billy Gilbert (The Great Dictator) … Judge Homer Burnaby. Who’s absolutely hilarious in his role as the judge who keeps getting interrupted when trying to perform a wedding. And later, becomes a helper to Jonathon & Christine.
  • Tom Tyler (The Mummy’s Hand; Captain Marvel serial) … Geronimo. He becomes Jonathon’s nemesis in a trial by combat at the Indian camp.
  • Antonio Moreno (Creature from the Black Lagoon) … Chief Cochise. A wise ruler, who doesn’t want war. So Sawyer imprisons him!
  • George Cleveland (A Girl a Guy and a Gob) … Bill Yard
  • Hank Bell … Hank

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