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ROBERT MONTGOMERY'S 'RIDE THE PINK HORSE' WANDA HENDRIX

Title: RIDE THE PINK HORSE Year: 1947 Director/Star: Robert Montgomery Rates: ***1/2

One of the biggest flaws of Robert Montgomery's Mexico-set film noir RIDE THE PINK HORSE is pretty much flawless, and that's Wanda Hendrix as Pila, a different kind of ingenue...

And if Montgomery... a vengeful rogue named Lucky Gagin who turns up in a one-street carnival-fiesta Mexican town to blackmail criminal tycoon Fred Clark for having killed his war buddy... well let's just say if our roving hero's eyes were open, he'd have noticed that this "too skinny" peasant girl resembles an even prettier Gene Tierney...

Wanda Hendrix in RIDE THE PINK HORSE

But despite the unrealistic stretch of Hendrix playing homely, her character is genuinely intriguing and enigmatic, a makeshift fortune-teller telling token lawman/agent Art Smith that she sees only death in this unlucky Lucky Logan's very short future...

Meanwhile the best scenes had already panned out: Logan, like a melancholy "stranger in town" from a Western, feels out the surroundings, visiting the sophisticated hotel-dwelling villain (flanked by classy fatale Andrea King) when he's not bonding with deliberate scene-stealer Thomas Gomez, running a dilapidated carousel that harbors the titular PINK HORSE, providing Lucky a cot and conversation in his adjoined tent...

Wanda Hendrix in RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery

Then, meeting the girl's bleak premonition halfway, during the second and third act, our monotone lead's not only incapacitated but he stops being the antihero, or even an actual character in his very own movie...

Providing the already-proven Gomez and Hendrix not only more screen time but thereafter ALL THE importance in Montgomery's bizarre and moody Modern-Western with the guts to continuously wind-down instead of building-up to its (ultimately thinking man's thriller) finale. 

Opening Credits in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
And the bus you RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Robert Montgomery's RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Robert Montgomery's RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Robert Montgomery's RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Rita Conde and Iris Flores in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Wanda Hendrix in RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Robert Montgomery in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Andrea King in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Robert Montgomery in RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Thomas Mitchell
Wanda Hendrix in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Wanda Hendrix in RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Wanda Hendrix in RIDE THE PINK HORSE with Robert Montgomery
Creepy float in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Some heavy Fred Clark/Villain symbolism in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Andrea King with Fred Clark and Robert Montgomery in RIDE THE PINK HORSE
Robert Montgomery in Ride the Pink Horse (Great Criterion Cover)

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