Sunday, August 19, 2007

Durango Kids

Another library movie, this one a low-budget, family-friendly adventure film about a group of modern-day kids who accidentally travel back in time (don’t you just hate it when that happens?) to the Old West and try to prevent a gang of outlaws from stealing a fortune in gold. Most of the cast members are unknowns, and the acting is pretty bad throughout. But the scenery is really nice. The movie was filmed around Durango, Colorado, and some of it involves the tourist train that runs between Durango and the old mining town of Silverton. We rode that train once when I was a kid, on one of our vacation trips, and it was fun seeing it again.

It’s also interesting to watch how some of the Old West scenes show a Sergio Leone influence. I think the look and feel and staging of the Italian Westerns are so ingrained in pop culture by now that sometimes filmmakers imitate them without even being consciously aware of what they’re doing. I’m also curious about the title of this movie. Wasn’t the Durango Kid the name of the character played by Charles Starrett in most of his B-Westerns? How many kids today are going to be aware of that? A handful, if that? Why give your movie a title with a connotation that 99.9% of your intended audience doesn’t understand?

DURANGO KIDS is just entertaining and interesting enough to be worth a look, especially if you find it at the library, like we did, and don’t have to pay anything for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The scenery along the Durango-Silverton excursion line is also on display in Jimmy Stewart's NIGHT PASSAGE. After seeing that area, Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Pass, Mesa Verde, and Chimney Rock on the same vacation in southern Colorado a couple of years ago, my wife and I suffered serious sensory overload.