The Baron of Arizona (1950)

The Baron of Arizona (1950)

Starring Vincent Price, Ellen Drew, Vladimir Sokoloff, Beulah Bondi, Reed Hadley, Robert Barrat, Robin Short, Tina Pine, Karen Kester, Margia Dean, Jonathan Hale, Edward Keane, Barbara Woodell, I. Stanford Jolley, Fred Kohler Jr.

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Expectations: Moderate. I love Fuller’s films, this one seems like it might be underwhelming though.


The Baron of Arizona is an interesting film within the filmography of Samuel Fuller in that it isn’t nearly as upfront and in your face as the traditional Fuller picture. As a second feature, it comes off as something wholly different from his début I Shot Jesse James, showing off Fuller’s growing confidence as a filmmaker. The film is based on a true story of one of the biggest land scams in the history of the United States. While the facts here are bent for the purpose of fun storytelling, the film ultimately succeeds by portraying the characters and events in such memorable ways.

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I Shot Jesse James (1949)

Starring Preston Foster, Barbara Britton, John Ireland, Reed Hadley, J. Edward Bromberg, Victor Kilian, Tom Tyler, Tommy Noonan

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Expectations: Moderate. Wasn’t expecting too much from Fuller’s first movie.


Samuel Fuller’s directorial début is a character drama masquerading as a western. It features a lot of western conventions, but it’s all window dressing as far as I’m concerned. Fuller’s cinematic motives are to examine the tortured nature of Robert Ford, making the film not so much about the actual shooting, but about how it shapes Ford’s life following it and how he deals with the disgrace and pressure it adds. This makes for quite the interesting film and a fantastic début from the criminally underrated director Sam Fuller.

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