Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The Terror of Tiny Town (1938)
A surprisingly kinda-sorta progressive item from the 1930's, The Terror of Tiny Town is one of the only films ever to be made with an 'all-midget' cast. Not only that, but this movie is a western/musical! That sounds simply too good to be true!...And that's because it is, sadly...
In a town in the old west, two feuding cattle ranchers are manipulated into believing the others are stealing or killing their animals by the evil Bat Haines, who seeks to control the whole area for himself. Meanwhile, the young Buck Lawson and Nancy Preston, son and niece respectively of the two warring ranchers, fall in love, and seek to try and bring peace to their families, uncovering Bat Haines' evil scheme, leading him to frame Buck for murder...
Is it bad that I find this movie to be cute? I have the horrible feeling that I'm being demeaning to little people by finding them in a western situation to be cute (though I guess any dwarves would just tell me I need to stop taking things so seriously and chill out).
Moving on, The Terror from Tiny Town is a dull watch, despite its brilliant casting, and that's because its plot is the most simple, cliched, overused western plot ever! Have you seen an American western from between the 30's to the 60's? Then you've seen Terror of Tiny Town without even knowing it! It's an almost tedious sit, and the fact that this concept goes entirely to waste is extremely disappointing.
While there are a fair share of sight gags (the characters ride Shetland ponies, drink from beer mugs huge to them, walk right under saloon doors, etc), this movie takes itself seriously, which doesn't help make the movie in any way memorable or distinctive.
Thankfully the movie is short at only an hour long, and thus never overstays its welcome. If it had been any longer, I would have been really impatient with it!
The acting in Terror of Tiny Town is mediocre at best, laughable at worst. There are also several out-of-nowhere accents for the old west. Yvonne Moray is super-duper cute though, and I don't mean that because she's a little-person. She's just cute in general.
The musical aspect here is handled pretty poorly. There are only about three songs, and they each seem to be sung twice! Add to that the fact that they're not all that great or memorable songs, and you don't have much of a recipe for success.
To finish, I wish there were more films like The Terror of Tiny Town, and even it's not a good film, it's certainly a unique watch. It's just a shame we didn't get any badass little-person anti-heroes chewin' cigarillo's and gunning down baddies while Mystic and Severe from Death Rides a Horseman plays!...