SAGEBRUSH LAW. RKO Radio Pictures, 1943. Tim Holt, Cliff Edwards, Joan Barclay, John H. Elliott, Roy Barcroft. Director: Sam Nelson.

  BEAU BANDIT. Radio Pictures, 1930. Rod La Rocque, Doris Kenyon, Mitchell Lewis, Tom Keene (as George Duryea), Walter Long, Charles B. Middleton, James Donlan. Director: Lambert Hillyer.

   Here are a couple of old western movies I taped off AMC over 20 years ago, back when AMC showed older movies without commercials and several years before TCM came along. It was by far my favorite cable channel at the time, whether the movies were classics or not.

   And neither of these two films are, to be honest with you, and neither is worthy of a full write-up (nor a short one, either, but what the hey). Tim Holt made a lot of B-western movies in the 40s, maybe almost 50 of them, but I never saw a one of them, growing up. I don’t know why they were never shown in my small home town, but as far as I recall, they never were.

   In Sagebrush Law, he has to clear his dad’s name as a banker who supposedly committed suicide after fearing he’d be caught stealing from his bank. Using the wrong hand, no less.

   Holt may have been the most handsome of the good guy western heroes, but what he didn’t seem to have was the onscreen charisma of either a Hoppy or a Roy or even a Gene, nor is the story any deeper than what I’ve just outlined. Cliff Edwards as his sidekick contributes a couple of songs, but needlessly so, and Joan Barclay is barely seen, and never in closeup.

   In Beau Bandit Rod La Rocque and a horrible pseudo-Spanish accent play a charming Mexican bandit in full Robin Hood mode, acting as a middle man in a romance that the local banker wishes to break up. This early talkie is acceptable fare, even today, but no more, and then only if your ears can make some accommodation for the accent.