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Montana  Australian sheep-man Morgan Lane comes to Montana looking for government-owned grazing land, and encamps his sheep at the boundary line (where the bad grazing ends and the good grazing begins) set up by the cattle barons to keep the sheep from nubbing away at the good grass. He goes to town, posing as a merchant, explains his Australian accent, and learns that Maria Singleton, owner of a large ranch, and Rodney Ackroyd (who never explains where he got his name), another ranch owner and Miss Singleton’s fiancée, are the leaders of the cattlemen against the sheep-men. Romance tugs at Morgan and Miss Singleton, who quickly decides that Morgan has a much better name than Rodney (and other attributes) but the cattle-vs.-sheep feud keeps them apart. Until they meet in the street for a showdown gunfight following a disastrous clash between the cattle and sheep factions.

“Reckon, I’m In Love”

Montana with a running time of only 77 minutes has to be some kind of record for Errol Flynn while he was Warner Brothers for shortest feature film. Some of the B westerns with Dick Foran back from the Thirties had longer running times than Montana.

My suspicion is that Montana is nothing more than a pumped up B film, it certainly does not have as expensive a look to it as say The Adventures of Don Juan which Flynn did the year before.

The plot is a simple one and it’s the only time that Errol Flynn actually played someone of his nationality which was Australian. Flynn for reasons left unexplained by the film has decided to leave Australia and homestead new country for sheep raising in the Big Sky country of Montana territory.

Naturally this upsets the local cattle ranchers and two of the biggest in the area are Alexis Smith and Douglas Kennedy who are about to make a personal and business merger. But once Flynn gets into the picture he certainly makes Alexis see the error of her ways about him and about sheep in that order.

As a film, Montana relies heavily on the considerable charm of Errol Flynn to bring it off. Bring it off he does, but Montana certainly will not rank high in the best of Errol Flynn list anyone compiles.

But someone out there was really impressed with the film. Back in the day when I lived in Brooklyn there was a judge who must have loved this film as a lad. He thought Errol’s character name of Morgan Lane had character so he changed his own name to Morgan Lane from some Jewish sounding ethnic name. Of course that was before he became a lawyer and eventually a judge.

The second thing Montana is known for is a nice little cowboy duet that Errol and Alexis sing called Reckon I’m In Love. It’s nice little ditty and one of only a few times Mr. Flynn got to sing in films. I recall he sang in Thank Your Lucky Stars and in Let’s Make Up and that’s about it in the vocalizing department.

You might watch Montana for entertainment, but who knows if it will actually move you to change your name.

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