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Ghost Valley

Ghost Valley(1932)

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teaser Ghost Valley (1932)

Zorro meets the Ghostbusters, sort of, in this low-budget RKO Western starring Tom Keene. For this outing, Keene, who unlike other B Western stars played a different character in each of his films, is a cowboy who stands to inherit half a ghost town. His co-heir is a beautiful cousin by adoption (Merna Kennedy), whom he's never met. The local judge (Mitchell Harris), knowing the town lies atop a gold mine but not knowing Keene, hires him to impersonate himself so he can scare Kennedy into selling. What follows is an intriguing combination of comedy, horror film and Western as Keene pretends to be a city slicker in public, then dons a disguise as he tries to undo Harris's schemes. The film features some fancy riding courtesy of Keene and stuntman Yakima Canutt. It also has some eerie scenes in which Harris's men try to convince Kennedy the ghost town is haunted. Helping tremendously was the film's location, an actual ghost town in Hornitas, CA. Leading lady Kennedy had made her movie debut as Charlie Chaplin's leading lady in The Circus (1928). That glorious start didn't lead very far, and she soon found herself consigned to low-budget films before she retired from acting to marry Busby Berkeley.

By Frank Miller

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