Angel and the Badman (1947)


Angel and the Badman Storyline

Notorious gunman Quirt Evans is wounded and on the run. He arrives at a Quaker farm owned by Thomas Worth and his family where he collapses from exhaustion. Evans asks Thomas and his daughter Penelope to drive him into town in their wagon in order to send an urgent telegram. The telegram contains a land claim and is sent to the land recorder’s office. The Quaker family is ignoring the town doctor’s advice to rid themselves of the gunfighter and they compassionately tend to the delirious Evans. Penny Worth becomes intrigued by his ravings of past loves.When Evans regains consciousness, Penny explains to him about the Quaker credo of non-violence and way of life. Three weeks later, two desperadoes, Laredo Stevens and Hondo Jeffries, ride into town looking for Evans.Penny’s younger brother, Johnny, rushes home to inform Evans of his visitors and Evans prepares to flee. Penny, now smitten with Evans, offers to run off with him. Upon hearing the sound of approaching horses, Evans grabs his revolver and, to his horror, discovers that it has been emptied. His life is in serious danger.

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Angel and the Badman Movie Reviews

Very highly recommended

Fun movie about a cowboy named Quirt (John Wayne) who is wants to reform his ways after he meets a sweet Quaker girl. When he is shot, the Quaker family takes care of him, and after he wakes up the daughter (Gail Russell) falls in love with him. It’s goofy and cliché, sure, but there’s a really fine movie to be found in the familiar setup. Writer/director Grant create many good vignettes. There are several wonderful supporting characters who add a lot of worth to the proceedings, including Harry Carey as a marshall, Lee Dixon as one of Quirt’s friends and old partners in crime, Tom Powers as the local, scientific, atheist doctor, and Olin Howlin as the town telegrapher. Howlin’s character is pure comic relief, very humorously claiming a long friendship with Quirt, though he only saw him once when he was almost unconscious. Then Carey’s character is wryly comedic: as the marshall, he’s constantly stalking Quirt. He’s sure that someday he’ll get to hang the guy, and he harps on it constantly. The chemistry between Wayne and Russell adds an unexpected poignancy to the film. The scene where the two pick blackberries is simply beautiful, and their wordless climactic exchange is perfectly performed. Good action sequences, as well. 9/10.

A nice little change of pace for John Wayne

While this is far from John Wayne’s best film, it is a nice little change of pace that tries to be a bit different from his typical Western. While Wayne plays a character VERY MUCH like the usual Western hero, the situation he finds himself in is very unique. The film begins with Wayne being discovered by some Quakers. He’s been shot and he is unconscious, so these nice people take him home and nurse him back to health–even though he has a reputation as a “mean hombre”. Not surprisingly, young Gail Russell (the daughter in the Quaker family) falls for Wayne. Despite Wayne’s “badness” and desire for revenge on those who hurt him, with Ms. Russell’s love and attention, Wayne slowly starts to see the light and think twice about his violent ways. Despite being pretty predictable (which knocks off a point or two), the plot is handled nicely–with a lot of feeling and with excellent acting (by the leads plus Harry Carey in one of his last films) . Well worth seeing and more than just another “time-passer”.

Something a little different

ANGEL AND THE BADMAN is a John Wayne western with a greater emphasis on character development than usual; I found it quite interesting, although not one of his most exciting vehicles. He plays the “bad man” of the title, a wounded gunslinger taken in and healed by a Quaker family who teach him the ways of peace at the same time. The story is quite tender in places, and Wayne seems to relish the chance to play a character who develops a little differently in comparison to his usual tough guy persona. There are still some western staples and action for the fans to enjoy.