Unfairly overlooked Don Johnson western: LAW OF THE LAND review

The other day I looked through my VHS collection hoping to find something good to watch; I found a rare 70s western with the great Don Johnson I didn’t even know I had. I picked it up and it glowed brightly. LAW OF THE LAND. It felt like destiny! Allow me to explain. About a year ago I had a very realistic dream in which Don Johnson chased me with a chainsaw, and the dream triggered an inner urge to watch Miami Vice again. So I bought the complete series on DVD and watched the whole thing. And what could then possibly be better than to accidentally bump into a cowboy movie you’ve never heard of with one of your favorite actors?

Law Of The Land is a 70s whodunit thriller about a serial killer who kills prostitutes. The Sheriff (played by Jim Davis) gets help from his deputies and a cheerful rogue (Johnson) to find the killer before he kills again. This is not exactly a great western. It was produced for television – probably the pilot of a TV series that never materialized. Too bad, because I’ve always enjoyed mystery thrillers set in the Wild West. The film is well made, the mystery plot is pretty good and talented actors (Charles Martin Smith, Nicholas Hammond and Jim Davis) make the film memorable. Law Of The Land is a mediocre film – but if you dig westerns, you can do a lot worse than this. And if you dig “The Don” and Miami Vice (of course you do!) you will probably like it too.

Law of the Land (Aka. The Deputies)
Release year: 1976
Country: USA
Director: Virgil W. Vogel
The other day I looked through my VHS collection hoping to find something good to watch; I found a rare 70s western with the great Don Johnson I didn't even know I had. I picked it up and it glowed brightly. LAW OF THE LAND. It felt like destiny! Allow me to explain. About a year ago I had a very realistic dream in which Don Johnson chased me with a chainsaw, and the dream triggered an inner urge to watch Miami Vice again. So I bought the complete series on DVD and watched the whole thing. And what could…

RCC Rating:

Shootouts
Crime story
Actors
Moralizing crap and kissing
Style and coolness

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2 comments

  1. Wondering if you know of another western in which D.J. and another actor starred in? I do not recall its title. However, it may contain the word “Loredo/Laredo. It is about a gun fight show down or something like it. Don Johnson was even younger than this video you have found. I recall that he wore blue gun outfit. Tightly fit, too, which were his signature throughout his career. Please help. It is driving me crazy. I had such crush then. After seeing that one film. Time period; early 1970s. I don’t think that he’s well known then at all. However,as you have pointed out, one can see his star quality was there, even early on.
    Thank you so much. Please feel free to email me.

  2. Check out “Zachariah”, a 1971 western/comedy with Don Johnson and Electric guitars!

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