The Baron of Arizona (1950)

The Baron of Arizona (1950), written and directed by Samuel Fuller.

A fictionalized account of the career of James Reavis, forger and con-man, who spent years creating a phony history to establish his ownership of a big chunk of the American Southwest.

This is a small, quickly made film. I review it because I want to be a completist for Vincent Price and director Fuller.

Swindler though he is, somehow we are rooting for Reavis. This is an odd subject for tough-guy Fuller, who we expect to be on the side of the common folk rather than a would-be nobleman.

We understand why the citizens of Arizona are angry when told they are now subject to a Baron and have to pay him rent on their own property, but lynch mobs are always unlovely.

Our cast:

Photographed by James Wong Howe.

Available on DVD from Criterion.