The Dalton Gang (2020, directed by Christopher Forbes)


In this western, Arkansas Sheriff Frank Dalton is gunned down by an outlaw.  Seeking justice, Frank’s three brothers — Bob, Gant, and Emmett — become members of law enforcement themselves.  They kill a wanted outlaw but when they try to collect the reward, they’re told that the reward money has already gone to fund other projects.  (It’s hinted that the new sheriff stole it for himself.)  They’re also told that, since they’ve been smuggling whiskey to the Indians, they probably won’t get paid their salary.  The Dalton Brothers quit law enforcement and decide to become outlaws themselves.

The Dalton Gang is a low-budget western that tells the true story of the Dalton Brother and their career as outlaws.  Some of the film’s wildest developments — like the Gang attempting to rob two banks in one day — are based on fact.  Unfortunately, though the film gets the facts right, it’s done in by its own low budget.  From the muddy soundtrack to the tiny cast to the overuse of slow motion, everything about The Dalton Gang reminds you that you’re watching a movie and not particularly well-produced one.  Some members of the cast have the right look for a dusty western but the performances are so inconsistent that it’s sometimes difficult to watch the film with a straight face.  Jerry Chessman plays Bob Dalton and yells his lines so loudly that it’s hard not to jump whenever he starts speaking.  Undoubtedly due to the low budget, much of the action takes place off-screen.  The Dalton brothers spend a lot of time riding up to trains and then later talking about how much money they stole from the train but it’s rare we ever get to see them actually robbing anything.

Personally, I would like to see more westerns being released.  In the modern era, it’s a genre that seems to go through brief moments of resurgence followed by long periods of being pushed to the side.  Hopefully, though, future westerns will be better than The Dalton Gang.

One response to “The Dalton Gang (2020, directed by Christopher Forbes)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 9/7/20 — 9/13/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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