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Across the desolate desert terrain on the ride to San Bernardino, gold-laden prospector Ford Smith (Wayne Morris) and former blackjack dealer Mary Smith (Virginia Grey) quickly learn they have company. Three camel-riding Arabs - played in a capricious bit of casting by Anthony Caruso, George Tobias and John Doucette - are close behind them, waiting to pounce on Ford's gold and for the unforgiving Mojave to take its toll on the travelers. Temporarily misleading their pursuers, Ford and Mary wander into an village where mission-educated Native Americans hold a Christmas Eve service - just as the three men on camels ride in at a critical moment and, showing shades of 3 Godfathers, a temporary Yuletide truce ensues. But can the saddleback companions shake off the greedy bad men once and for all? The rough-and-ready Morris (also the film's associate producer) and the vivacious, versatile Grey, whose Hollywood career crossed all genre frontiers, from classy to sassy, make engaging trailmates in this flinty B Western with true A-level grit.

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WAA593576 Desert Pursuit DVD (1952/Wayne Morris) $21.99